Baby boomers are the ultimate promise-keepers

Cancer Research UK

91% of baby boomers (55-64-year-olds) state they haven’t broken a single promise in the past six months, in stark comparison to their younger compatriots, according to a poll* by Cancer Research UK’s new legacies campaign, which is encouraging people to make a promise to leave a gift in their will.

“At Cancer Research UK we know the importance and impact of a pledge, as over one third of all our funding comes from gifts in wills, which means that people who leave gifts to us fund a third of our life-saving work." - Clare Moore, Cancer Research UK

Even though an overwhelming 81% of respondents agreed that a promise must always be kept, 42% of millennials (25 – 34-year-olds) did not stick to their word across the same period.

The generations also vary drastically when it comes to what obliges them to honor a commitment. British youngsters (18 – 34-year-olds) are the only generation more likely to keep a verbal agreement than one in writing, whereas for baby boomers a written pledge remains the most important to keep.

Despite a reliance and belief in having future commitments written down, a third of over 55s in the UK (over 6.5 million people) are currently without a will.

When asked why, two in five (43%) said they simply ‘hadn’t got around to it yet’ and a quarter (25%) of those aged 55-64 felt they didn’t ‘have anything of value to leave’.

When it comes to altruistic promises however, it is the UK’s young adults who come out on top. Millennials (61%) are significantly more likely to pledge a charitable contribution than baby boomers (41%) and under 55s (18%) are twice as likely as over 55s (9%) to strongly consider leaving a gift in their will to a charity.

Clare Moore, director of legacies at Cancer Research UK said: “Baby boomers clearly understand the power of a pledge and it’s wonderful to see they are so likely to honour their promises.  However, it’s worrying to see that one in three over 55s don’t have a will.  It may seem like a daunting prospect, but it’s very easy to do and will help make sure your loved ones are cared for in the future.    

“At Cancer Research UK we know the importance and impact of a pledge, as over one third of all our funding comes from gifts in wills, which means that people who leave gifts to us fund a third of our life-saving work.  This work is vital in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and has helped save millions of lives. Our ambition is to keep up the pace of research and accelerate progress to beat cancer for future generations.”

To make your pledge visit: Cruk.org/pledge

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on +44 203 469 8300 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on +44 7050 264 059.

Notes to Editor

*Independent research commissioned by Cancer Research UK, conducted by Atomik Research. 2,003 people in the UK were surveyed in February 2019.