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Britain - a nation of financial over-optimists concerned with crime and health?

London, October 13 /PRNewswire/ -- - More than three quarters (77%) of British adults are satisfied with their quality of life;

- 36% feel that the state of the health service is one of the five most important issues affecting their quality of life, closely followed by crime levels (32%);

- Job satisfaction and work-life balance have a low impact on quality of life.

More than three quarters (77%) of British adults are satisfied with their overall quality of life according to The JPMorgan Fleming Quality of Life Survey, a new research initiative from JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management. With less than a quarter (23%) of adults rating financial wealth as a top five issue affecting their quality of life, JPMorgan Fleming warns that there is a significant disparity between perception and reality when it comes to estimating the impact of financial issues on quality of life.

The findings strike a similar chord to another recent survey conducted by JPMorgan Fleming (1), which revealed that only 26.5% of the nation can actually expect an income of 50% or more of their final salary in retirement - this is in contrast to the 59% who believe their retirement will be comfortable.

Despite a high level of satisfaction with quality of life, JPMorgan Fleming's Quality of Life Survey also highlights several issues which people feel are impacting upon their lives. Over a third of adults (36%) feel that the state of the health service is one of the five most significant factors affecting their quality of life, closely followed by the level of crime (32%). The only issues to be ranked higher, from a list of 22, are family well-being (61%), personal health (52%), and access to family and friends (34%).

The findings turn traditional perceptions of what constitutes quality of life for British people on their head. For example, work-life balance and job satisfaction are considered to have a relatively insignificant bearing on quality of life with only a fifth of adults citing them as very important.

The survey also reveals, that nearly a third (32%) of adults have a better sense of well-being than this time last year. Only one in seven (14%) feel that their personal sense of well-being is actually worse than a year ago. Where savings are concerned, the findings reveal that twice as many adults (25%) are likely to save more than borrow more (13%) in the next six months. The British are also optimists when it comes to property - roughly half (51%) of adults think the market value of their house will increase within the next six months, compared to only one in eight (12%) who consider such an increase to be unlikely. This confidence is even more apparent amongst the bigger earners, as three quarters of all adults with household incomes over [pounds sterling]25,000 are expecting an increase in the market value of their homes.

The research is the pre-cursor to the Quality of Life Index being launched by JPMorgan Fleming next year. The index will aim to provide a realistic indicator of quality of life in Britain, by measuring shifts in public opinion towards issues of personal importance.

Jonathan Watts-Lay, Head of UK Marketing, JPMorgan Fleming, comments: "Quality of Life is frequently talked about as an increasing concern for British adults and this survey shows that people appear to be happy with their lifestyles. However, it is also evident that a disparity exists between perception and reality when it comes to estimating the impact of financial issues on quality of life.

He continues: "Lots of factors come together to create a great quality of life, including health, education, and the cost of living. What we want to do is encourage more individuals to take control of their financial future, so that the optimism that many people have shown in the JPMF Quality of Life Survey is not proven to be misplaced."

"By repeating this research next year, we'll be able to measure any shift in attitudes towards these issues, and consequently gain a better understanding of what influences public opinion and consumer habits."

Key findings

The main survey findings are:
Top ten issues determining Quality of % of adults identifying issue as
Life one of five most important
 factors determining Quality of
 1. Well-being of family 61

 2. Personal health and fitness 52

 3. State of the health service 36

 4. Access to family and friends 34

 5. Level of crime 32

 6. Quality of education 28

 7. Cost of living 24

 8. Financial wealth/disposable income 23

 9. Job satisfaction 22

 10. Job security 21

The situation around the UK:

JPMorgan Fleming's Quality of Life Survey reveals a very mixed picture across Britain of the issues that determine people's quality of life:

- Quality of Life is highest in Scotland where 9 in 10 (90%) Scots expressed satisfaction, with the Midlands in second place (82%). Adults in the North were the least satisfied with their quality of life (70%).

- Quality of education is the most pressing issue for London's adult population (whereas nationally it is the sixth most important issue). Londoners also feel that their quality of life is more determined by government policy and transport facilities than is the case in the rest of Britain.

- Adults in the South attribute more importance to the cost of living (26%), environmental issues such as pollution and noise reduction (17%) and saving the countryside (12%) than any other segment of the population.

- Adults in the North attribute much more importance to family/personal issues than those in London. For example, six in ten (61%) Northerners feel that personal health and fitness is one of the top five issues determining quality of life compared to less than four in ten (38%) Londoners. Also, three quarters of Northerners (74%) count the well-being of their family amongst their most important issues compared to less than half (45%) of Londoners.

1. Source - JPMorgan Fleming Pension Map of Britain 2003. The attitudinal research was conducted by MORI Financial Services in August 2003 via face-to-face interviews with 900 working adults.

Notes to Editor

- A summary of the findings are attached.

- The research was carried out in August 2003 amongst 1017 adults by Ipsos research.

- Interviews were conducted by telephone with overall quotas set by age, sex, social grade, marital status, working status, and region, to ensure that a spread of respondents were included.

- Regional research was split amongst the North, South, Midlands, London, and Scotland.

- All twenty two issues were identified from a previous research study when adults were asked how they would define quality of life in an unprompted fashion.

JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management, with close to US$515 billion of assets under management, is a global asset management leader providing world-class investment solutions to clients. With offices in over 38 locations around the world, JPMorgan Fleming offers global coverage with a strong local market presence, and leadership positions in most asset classes. JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management is part of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Issued by JPMorgan Fleming Marketing Limited which is authorised and regulated by the FSA. JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management is a trading name of J.P. Morgan Fleming Marketing Limited which is part of the JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management marketing group, which sells investments, life assurance and pension products. The value of investments, and any income from them, can fall as well as rise. Tax concessions are not guaranteed; their value will depend on individual circumstances. Exchange rates may also affect performance. Investment in emerging markets can carry an extra degree of risk. J.P. Morgan Fleming Marketing Limited is registered in England No. 288553. Registered office 10 Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7RF

For additional figures or more information on JPMorgan Fleming, please contact Joanne Cosson: +44 020 7742 6326
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 13, 2003
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