We’re turning Japanese, I really think so
But a smarter option is to invest those savings in the stock market – particularly now, when share prices, as I’ve observed several times in recent months, are significantly depressed. Malcolm Wheatley | Saturday, 31st October, 2020 The headline in the Financial Times said it all: Britain’s over‑50s rethink plans as virus takes toll on retirement. As I’ve remarked a couple of times in recent months, household balance sheets improved markedly post-lockdown, with bank balances swelling and credit card debt being paid off. Which isn’t a great backdrop to an idyllic retirement. Forget strolling hand-in-hand along tropical sun-kissed white sands – the sort of irritating image that always seems to accompany retirement-focused financial products and media coverage. Right now, some people will be worried that Morecombe on a wet November afternoon might be a stretch too far. 5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50 For the foreseeable future, we seem to be heading for an era of higher taxation, lower investing returns, and greater job insecurity. Covid-19, in short, has called into question many of the assumptions on which many people’s retirement plans were based. Click here to claim your free copy of this special investing report now! But in fact, my view is that things are probably rosier than they imagine.Spend! Spend! Spend! Not.Lockdown did something remarkable for Britain’s consumers: it got them to stop consuming. And in particular, to stop funding that consumption through debt. First, Britain is re-learning (if sometimes reluctantly) the virtues of thrift. The FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) crowd would be proud of us: what they’ve been preaching for years has suddenly become a lifestyle du monde. Enter Your Email Address And while I’m not – for obvious reasons – seeing as much of my usual circle of friends, family, acquaintances, and fellow-villagers, those sentiments certainly do sum up the views of a good number of the people with whom I am in touch. Markets around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic…And with so many great companies trading at what look to be ‘discount-bin’ prices, now could be the time for savvy investors to snap up some potential bargains.But whether you’re a newbie investor or a seasoned pro, deciding which stocks to add to your shopping list can be daunting prospect during such unprecedented times.Fortunately, The Motley Fool is here to help: our UK Chief Investment Officer and his analyst team have short-listed five companies that they believe STILL boast significant long-term growth prospects despite the global lock-down…You see, here at The Motley Fool we don’t believe “over-trading” is the right path to financial freedom in retirement; instead, we advocate buying and holding (for AT LEAST three to five years) 15 or more quality companies, with shareholder-focused management teams at the helm.That’s why we’re sharing the names of all five of these companies in a special investing report that you can download today for FREE. If you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio, and that you can consider building a position in all five right away. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Simply put, Britain was saving. At the end of the second quarter, the official Bank of England household savings ratio – the proportion of earnings saved rather than spent – hit a remarkable (and record) 29%, according to figures recently released. As a guide, it’s normally around five percent.Turning JapaneseSeveral things stem from this. According to UK Finance, the banking trade body, credit card debt balances fell from £69.7bn to £59.8bn by the end of May. Deposits in banks and building societies rose by £37.3 billion in April, following an increase of £67.3 billion in March.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…To be sure, some of that was down to people being cautious: these were – and still are – uncertain times. But a lot of it was down to something more fundamental: with shops, hospitality venues, cinemas and sports grounds all shut, there wasn’t nearly as much on which to spend money. And forget blitzing it on exotic holidays: they weren’t on offer, either. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Put another way, we’re seeing how much we really need to live on. And it’s likely to be a lot less than many people imagined. See all posts by Malcolm Wheatley We’re turning Japanese, I really think so Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. How soon the FTSE 100 will get back to a level of 7,500 or so is anyone’s guess – but as I write these words, it’s still below 5,900.What difference could that make to the prospects of a comfortable retirement? Well, for a 50-year-old starting now and retiring at 67, saving an extra £400 a month over that period, and assuming a relatively undemanding return of 7% a year including dividends, that puts an extra £141,729 in the retirement pot. Save a bit more, get a better return… and the pot will be even bigger. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Put another way still, those in work are seeing just how much it is possible to save. Even those who have prioritised paying off debts are going to run out of debts to pay off at some point: enforced saving will follow.Granted, that too won’t last forever – although it will likely last for as long as pubs, restaurants, shops and cinemas continue to feel unsafe. And by then, the consumption compulsion could be seriously weakened. Some people – perhaps many people – will do this, I’m sure. Image source: Getty Images And put yet another way still, consumption-mad Britain is going to look rather like Japan, where stoically high savings ratios have for years been the post-war norm. (Hence this article’s title, by the way, for anyone who isn’t a fan of The Vapors’ 1980 hit.)Opportunity knocksWhat are we all going to do with these savings? Stick them in savings accounts earning less in interest than the current rate of inflation?