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The new yuppies and yuccies: which 30-something tribe are you in?

Wednesday 19 October 2016

The media love getting their teeth into a new acronym to fit cultural trends into neat little boxes. ‘Yuppies’ and ‘dinkies’ are arguably the most famous examples, but at over 30 years old themselves, do they really describe today’s thirty-somethings? We thought it was about time to look at the data and coin some new catch-all acronyms – but which one suits you?

  • Are you planning a family?
  • Are you among the few on the housing ladder?
  • Are you moving jobs and thinking about the future?
A lady holding a birthday cake with a candle that reads '30'

Media culture has always associated the latest trends with acronyms. In the 1980s, ‘yuppie’ was coined for Young Urban Professionals who were making a mark in cities, while ‘dinkies’ were ‘Double Income, No Kids Yet’. Then last year, ‘yuccies’ hit the scene – ‘Young Urban Creatives’ – who were coming to the big cities in droves[1].

In reality, however, yuccies are mostly clustered around creative industry hotspots, such as Old Street in London, the Custard Factory in Birmingham, and Liverpool Innovation Park – so what are the true thirty-something ‘tribes’ that are defining trends?[2]


The Honobos – Home Owners, Not Bought Outright

A couple decorating stare at a blank wall

Almost half (44%) of thirty-somethings are in the process of buying their own home, whether that involves mortgage repayments, rent-to-buy or paying back family members who stumped up the cash.

We spoke to Laura and her boyfriend, Will, who recently bought their first home together, with help from their savings, a mortgage and their parents.

‘Without a mortgage, we couldn't have afforded to buy,’ reveals Laura. ‘Cambridge is a very expensive area and a lot of the houses we saw were newer builds and lacked real character. We wanted a fixer-upper – something we could add value to and make our own.'

‘In the end, we were really lucky to find a house with such potential, in an area we couldn’t have afforded if it hadn’t been in such a bad state.'

‘It’s a good investment for the future and means we are paying to own the house, rather than filling up a landlord’s pocket. But it has been expensive, and it’ll be a while before we pay off our debts from the project – at which point we will look into insurance.'

‘We are fortunate though – lots of our friends just don’t have the deposit to buy a house, or aren’t ready to.’


The Dippies – Double Income, Planning Parenthood

A pregnant lady holds a pair of tiny baby shoes against her stomach

Dippies are the modern equivalent of ‘dinkies’ – sure, they may not have kids right now, but they could well be planning for the future.

And plan they must…

Giles, author of dad-to-be blog YOU THE DADDY, has been planning for the future ever since he discovered he was going to be a father.

‘Since we found out we were pregnant, we have both been setting aside some extra money every month to act as a buffer during maternity leave and beyond,’ explains Giles. ‘We’ve also taken out a loan to buy a new, larger family car, trading in our old banger to help fund it.'

‘My wife and I have 13 nephews and nieces between us, so we know how much life can change after having kids. We’ve been trying to enjoy ourselves with suppers out and cinema trips, just the two of us, while we still can!'

‘I looked into financial protection when I bought my London flat three years ago, but decided at the time that I was too young and it was too expensive to worry about at that stage of my life.'

‘Now I’m in my 30s, married, with a baby on the way, so my perspective on life has changed considerably! First on my list is a will, after which I’m definitely planning to look into some kind of insurance for my family.’


The Copers – Career, One Pension

Two people working on a laptop

Over a third (36%) of thirty-somethings are on a company pension scheme, while a further 18% are on various other pension schemes – that’s 54% in total.

New dad Mark recently moved job roles, which involved a transfer to a new office as well as a pension change, and became a father. With two big changes in his life, planning for the future suddenly came into focus.

‘I’ve just become a dad so planning ahead isn’t really a choice any more – it’s a necessity,’ says Mark. ‘I want to make sure my family is provided for in the future if anything happens to me.'

Retirement planning is something I’m becoming more and more aware of. Sixty-seven seems a long way away but working beyond that doesn’t appeal much, so having enough for a comfortable retirement is starting to figure a bit more in my thinking.'

‘My job role has changed too, which meant a change to my pension provider – I pay a little more into my pension each month than I did and my employer’s contributions have also increased. In practice, though, that’s the extent of my involvement – apart from trying to track down the pensions I had through previous employers a short while ago.'

‘If my pay increased, though, I would definitely increase my pension payments. I’m way past the days of resenting pensions as money I didn’t get right away. I’d like to think that I’m more forward-thinking these days.’


Between the three of them, our trendsetting thirty-somethings have a new home, a new job and (nearly) two newborn babies – that’s a lot to think about! However, all three are testament to the fact that a bit of forward financial planning, especially when it comes to pensions and protection, can help you maintain a balance when these big life moments come along.

All the data in this article was taken from the TGI, Q2 survey, 2016.


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