6 out of 10 want to quit rat race for good life

Tony Gosling tony at tlio.org.uk
Fri Nov 3 16:50:33 GMT 2006


Six out of ten want to quit rat race for the good life
Daily Mail, Wednesday, November 1, 2006

By Sean Poulter
Consumer Affairs Correspondent

SIX out of ten Britons are tired of the rat race and considering ditching
their material ambitions for a better quality of life.
The dream that inspired the Seventies sitcom The Good Life has endured for
decades. But never has it been so popular.
Sixty-one per cent of working adults are reassessing their priorities and
thinking about a 'lifeshift' which would give them stress-free jobs and
more time with their loved ones.
Three years ago, the proportion was only 53 per cent.
The findings come in a survey by the Prudential, which reveals that those
most likely to be seeking a change are aged 35 to 44, with children, in
well paid jobs and with a home.
Alongside that, both partners will be working, probably long hours, and
they are likely to be living under the tyranny of a hefty mortgage.
Dropping out of the fast lane was once considered something of a sur-render
to the stress that is so often the price of material success.
But the study suggests the pursuit of emotional balance is now consid-ered
a positive and worthy aspiration.
The Prudential found that 17 million Britons would happily give up money
and material wealth for a better lifestyle, whether it be to get away from
city life, find a more fulfilling career, or build a new life abroad. 
At the same time, 38 per cent would be happy to take a lower paid job in
return for more leisure hours without making a geographical move.
Better quality state education
The research found that a good work/life balance is the most impor-tant
aspect of any job for a quarter of the nation. A third of workers said
money was not their key motivator. Forty per cent would consider moving
abroad, while a third would relo-cate to cheaper areas of the UK. .
Gary Shaughnessy, of the Prudential, said: 'The country cottage and move
abroad are two things people normally associate with retirement.
'But this is increasingly becoming an aspiration for the younger
genera-tions. Whereas in the past ditching the rat race for a less
stressful exis-tence could be seen as a sign that you couldn't hack the
pace, the "life-shifters" are showing us that, for many people, a balanced
lifestyle is what really counts towards being fulfilled.'
Spiralling house prices, particularly in London and the South, have opened
the door to life shifting for millions.
It has become possible to sell a home in the South and use the equity to
buy a property outright in another part of the country or overseas.
Once the mortgage is gone, workers can afford to take a job paying much
less than they are used to.
Another motivation is the search for a better quality state education.
The highest number of lifeshifters are in Greater London, where the fig-ure
is 71 per cent.
In the North East, a desire to spend more time with the family was the
biggest factor. People in the North West and in Scotland were appar-ently
happiest with their current lifestyles.

spoulter at dailymail.co.uk


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