Populus Poll

The Saga Populus Panel is the largest research panel, gauging the attitudes and opinions of today's over 50s in the UK.
Saga/Populus Panel December 2017: Saga Populus logo

Saga/Populus Panel December 2017

Executive summary


New Year’s resolutions

  • Over half (54%) of Saga respondents have at least one New Year’s resolution for 2018. Losing weight (30%), becoming fitter (29%) and eating healthier (18%) are the three most cited resolutions. 4% mention learning a language.
  • Despite the top three resolutions being health and fitness-related, respondents plan to spend more time in January looking for a holiday (5 hours) and planning their finances (5 hours) than planning a healthier lifestyle (3 hours).

Trip of a lifetime

  • Saga respondents are most likely to say a cruise (25%) is their dream trip of a lifetime (assuming no time, financial or health limitations). 80-89 year olds are more likely to choose a cruise for their dream trip (36%) than 50-59 year olds (20%).
  • Cultural holidays (15%) are the second most cited dream trips, followed by train trips (13%).
  • Europe (29%) and Australasia/Oceania (23%) are the most popular continents for a trip of a lifetime. Behind them in third place is North America (15%).
  • The average desired duration of a dream trip is 6 weeks. 50-59 year olds are more likely to want their dream trip to go on longer (7 weeks) than 80-89 year olds (5 weeks).


  • Over half (56%) of respondents with grandchildren or great grandchildren look after them at least once a month. 30% do so at least once a week – rising to 45% among 50-59 year olds.
  • 58% of respondents put some money away each month for themselves or their grandchildren.
  • Saga respondents are more likely to save for themselves (52%) than for their grandchildren (19%), even amongst just grandparents and great grandparents (50% save for themselves, 31% save for their grandchildren or great grandchildren). Savers are also more likely to save a greater amount monthly for themselves (£200) compared to the amount they save for their grandchildren (£66).
  • Respondents in London say they put aside the most money for themselves each month (£222) while respondents in East Anglia put aside the least (£185).
  • A large number of respondents anticipate the money they put aside for their grandchildren will go to university fees (40%) or school/university supplies (27%). A quarter (24%) of respondents anticipate it will go towards a housing deposit.


  • 87% of Saga respondents drive at least once a week – rising to over nine in ten (93%) men. Those that drive say they spend an average of £21 on car fuel per week.
  • The majority of respondents who drive cite other drivers’ behaviour on the road (73%), the condition of roads (58%), and traffic (51%) as in their top three concerns about driving in modern Britain. Where the weather (16%) is a greater concern among 80-89 year olds than average (11%), the effect of motoring on the environment is of greater concern among 50-59 year olds (19%) than average (15%).
  • The average number of miles driven by respondents who drive is 6,943 per year. Those aged 50-59 say they drive more miles each year (8,840) than 80-89 year olds (4,991).

Populus interviewed 9,200 Saga respondents, all aged 50+ online between 12th and 19th December 2017. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information www.populus.co.uk.


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Angela Clifton

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