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Over-50s' wealth 'rocketing'

The combined personal wealth of Britain's over-50s dwarves the GDP of every nation except the United States (US), according to new research.Abbey Savings says the wealth of the UK's 50-plus generation has increased by almost half in the past five years, to over £5 trillion.The 45.6 per cent rise meant that the household personal wealth of the age group topped a staggering £5.16 trillion in 2006.Although the level fell short of the US' GDP of £6.6 trillion, the wealth of the country's over-50s outstripped the combined GDP of the UK, Germany and France.The research follows similar findings reported last month by Friends Provident, which estimated that the UK's over-50s now hold around 80 per cent of the nation's wealth and are enjoying more economic freedom than younger generations.Abbey Savings estimates that if existing trends continue, they will hold personal wealth amounting to $78.3 trillion (£40 trillion), or six times the current annual GDP of the US, by 2043.Commenting on the findings, Abbey's head of savings Reza Attar-Zadeh said: "The 50-plus segment of society is already transforming the way we live and work. They hold 60 per cent of all savings and are responsible for over 40 per cent of all consumer demand."If personal wealth and population continue to grow at current rates, the 50-plus demographic will become even more dominant."

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