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Britons worry about bird flu more than debt and savings, says Pru

Britons worry more about terrorism and bird flu than they do about rising debt or stress at work according to Prudential’s first National Risk Report.

The study says 38 per cent of us worry most about terrorist attacks, 31 per cent about violent crime and superbugs and bird flu accounting for 18 per cent of worries.

But Pru is urging consumers to focus on the issues they can control, such as savings, debt and job security.

The report from Pru and Social Issues and Research Centre conducted a survey of over 2,000 people at the end of 2005, says that despite a £1.1 trillion personal debt mountain and the well-publicised savings gap
that threatens many people’s retirement, we are still focusing on events that are unlikely to happen instead of those we can influence or make practical and financial plans for.

Pru says only 10 per cent worry about rising levels of personal debt, 12 per cent say they worry about job security, 27 per cent say they have sufficient savings to tide them through emergencies such as losing their job.

Prudential head of protection Paul Cowman says: “An age of fear is gripping the country and it is entirely irrational. You are far more likely to lose your job and struggle with debts than be a victim of terrorism or superbugs.

“Many people are focusing on unlikely events but not worrying about
how they would meet the payments on their mortgage if they were to become seriously ill or lose their job.”

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