Have You Had The Good Fortune To Be Wealthy?

Britain has never had it so good as personal wealth blasts towards the £13 trillion mark but there’s a big gap between the rich and poor.

Two drivers have pushed wealth to the extreme – rising house prices and money invested in pensions.

Property makes up just over a third of the country’s wealth (36%) at £4.6 trillion, but is just edged by pensions (42%) worth £5.3 trillion.

Another £1.6 trillion is held in savings, ISAs, shares and other financial products, while the remaining £1.2 trillion comprises physical assets, such as art, classic cars, fine wines, antiques and jewellery.

How much do you need to be wealthy?

To join the elite top 10% of Britain’s wealthiest people, you would need to have £670,000 excluding possessions. To get in to the top half of the country’s most well-off, you should have £105,000, says George Bangham, a researcher with the Resolution Foundation, who compiled the statistics.

The richest people tend to live in the South East, where the net worth averages £176,000. The other regions averaging a net worth of more than £100,000 are the South west (£156,000), East of England (£131,000) or Scotland (£103,000).

The poorest region is the North East (£55,000), while the rest of the country averages £86,000.

Your age also impacts your wealth. The better off generations tend to be aged over 51 years old because they are old enough to have benefitted from rapid house price growth and generous workplace pensions.

How wealth, or a lack of it, impacts your life

Earning a decent wage and holding down a good job are not enough to make your prosperous – but inheriting wealth can have a big impact on someone’s life.

“Those without this source of wealth are more likely to face long-term housing insecurity, higher private rental costs, and insufficient funds for their retirement,” said Bangham.

“Britain is doing a pretty good job of growing its £13tn wealth pile, but less well at sharing it equally. How much wealth we have is often regarded as a private affair, but who holds it and how it is accumulated matters for the wider economy, and society.”

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