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Personal Finance: Financial outlook is improving

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Planning for retirement

Planning for retirement

Planning for retirement

Consumers are increasingly confident about their financial outlook, according to research by pension provider Standard Life.

Older people are the most confident, with those in their 40s under the most financial pressure.

The Standard Life Financial Confidence Index notched its second consecutive quarterly increase in the final three months of 2014, moving from 50.5 to 52.4.

It is the highest consumer financial confidence score recorded since January 2013.

An all-time low of 47.6 was recorded in July 2013.

Those whose confidence increased most were those in the Rest of Leinster (up 5.1 points), those retired (up 3.7 points) those aged 45-54 (up 3.2 points) and those who have a pension (up 3.1).

The most confident group are those aged over 65, followed by those aged 55 to 64 years.

The least confident age group are those aged 45 to 54 scoring 49.0.

Those in Leinster, outside Dublin, are most confident, having overtaken citizens of the capital, followed by Munster people.

On average the least financially confident people are in Connacht/Ulster, who scored 48.9.

People with a pension are also more confident than those without, but the financial outlook is improving for all age groups and across each of the Irish regions, according to the research.

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