When we think of big drinkers in the UK, we usually think of 20-somethings, falling out of nightclubs, and ending up on the front pages of newspapers as examples of 'Broken Britain'. However, the real picture of Britain's biggest drinkers is very different. They are quiet, sensible people, in their 50s and 60s.
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The figures have been revealed by Tilney's Cost of Tomorrow report. It found that the UK's near-retirees spend around £1.87 billion on wine bought in shops every year. That's proportionally more than any other age group.
Between the ages of 50 and 64, households spend £265 a year on wine brought home, more than double the £114 spent annually by under-30s and considerably more than the £203 spent by 30-49-year-olds.
UK pensioners also contribute considerably to the wine economy, with households aged 65 and over spending £1.47 billion on wine bought in shops every year.
Across a lifetime, the average household will spend £12,600 on wine brought home - and wine is just part of the story. We will also spend £6,400 on beers and ciders to drink at home, and £5,800 on spirits.
Is this a waste?
£48,200 could buy us an awful lot instead. It would go towards a much more luxurious retirement, and even if you spent it on an annuity, it would add thousands to your annual income. Alternatively, you could splash out on the car of your dreams, or a relatively modest holiday home.
Before anyone gets too miserable about the amount they are blowing on alcohol, however, it's important to put it into perspective. £48,000 is also the sum we typically spend on commuting throughout the course of our working life. And while there's a reasonable chance that some of our alcohol consumption has been relatively pleasurable (assuming we drink responsibly), the same cannot be said for a typical commute.
But what do you think? Does this seem like a waste of money, or money well spent? Let us know in the comments.