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Ash4781

A Generation In Debt - Britain's Pensioners Owe More Than Any Other Age Group

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/arti...in_page_id=1770

Retirement is seen as a time to put your feet up and enjoy life's little luxuries.

The reality, according to a report, is more likely to involve working to pay off record debts and struggling to make ends meet.

For the first time, Britain's 11million pensioners owe more than any other age group.

Many are forced to rely on overdrafts, credit cards and handouts from family members to survive.

In extreme cases, they are having to use credit to pay for basic living expenses such as the weekly food shop.

The study by the Consumer Credit Counselling Service covered only "unsecured" loans, which means total debts could be larger because many pensioners still owe tens of thousands of pounds on their mortgage.

Those over 60 who had contacted the charity for help with their money problems owed an average of almost £30,000.

By comparison, the 18 to 24 age group owe £9,656; the 25 to 39s £21,876 and those aged 40 to 59 £28,903.

In the past, it was always the 40 to 59 age group who had bigger debts than any other age group.

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service said there were many reasons for the cultural change. One is that pensioners are more used to using credit cards than their parents were.

Rather than save up to buy something, many are happy to use credit to get something they cannot actually afford.

Sarah Nancollas, a director of the insolvency expert Nancollas Greer, said: "Judging from the

people we are finding approach us for help, it is the fact that pensioners are living on such low incomes that is driving them into debt. Many of them struggle and turn to borrowing and credit just to get by.

"Historically older people have been reluctant to get into debt but it seems many now feel they don't have a choice."

Another common reason is that older couples are squeezed by financial commitments to other members of their family. For many, their grown-up children are still a burden.

To get them on to the housing ladder at today's high prices, many are forced to give their children a deposit of at least £10,000.

With people living longer than ever before, many pensioners also have their own parents to look after. Soaring prices are likely to make the pensioner debt problem worse, according to experts.

The costs of essential items, such as bread, milk and fuel are rising at the fastest pace since records began.

The biggest losers during this climate of rising prices are the elderly, according to an analysis of official inflation figures by the investment group Alliance Trust.

For those over 75, the inflation rate is 3.4 per cent, which is 36 per cent higher than the official inflation figure of 2.5 per cent, it claims.

Rising costs such as food and energy hit the elderly the "hardest" because they spend a higher percentage of their income on these costs.

David Sinclair, head of policy for Help the Aged, said: "Pensioners are constantly facing above inflation price rises. Coupled with a fixed low income, many older people struggle financially more and more, year after year.

"With one in five pensioners living in poverty and an increasing number of older people in debt, the future looks anything but rosy for older people."

The charity will publish a report next week which is expected to reveal further evidence of debt problems among the elderly.

With huge debts, record numbers of pensioners are working beyond retirement age, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Nearly 1.3million women over 60 and men over 65 are working. Some want to work but many have no choice.

• Widow Rita Young, 71, says the cost of living has forced her into debt.

The former market researcher has reached the overdraft limit on her current account and has been struggling to pay off two credit cards.

She said: "I know the dangers of getting into the red but I've got no choice."

Mrs Young, of Peterborough, had barely finished paying off a £3,000 loan when she was forced to put money on credit cards.

She receives £140.51 state pension a week and a £200 winter fuel allowance. But she says this is not enough to keep up with the rising cost of energy and household bills.

She added: "I'm very grateful I don't like to smoke or drink or I would have been sunk by now. The only thing I allow myself is for a girl to come round and set my hair once a week.

"But I will have to stop this, too, if things continue to get worse."

What a mess!

Edited by Ash4781

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Well at the risk of being branded evil and cruel (i have already posted similar comments on the DM website), why don't these pensioners downsize!

Council Tax bill too big - sell up and buy a smaller house.

Heating bills too high - ditto.

Maintenance costs getting on top of you - ditto

Too big a gardern to look after - ditto

Want a nest egg - ditto.

A big part of the problem in this country is that there is too little mobility between the appropriate classes of housing to suit peoples circumstances. We have pensioners with hardly any income in homes they can't afford to run, and young families who can't afford homes (as too expensive to buy) in 2 bed flats.

If more pensioners and indeed retiring babyboomers sold up, there would be more familiy homes for families. Meanwhile it is not as if local authorities haven't been encouraging the provision of 1 and 2 bed flats, so it is the pensioner group that really needs to initiate the movement.

Edited by mikelivingstone

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its only a mess if you let it be a mess.

No one is forced to retire at 60.

Women who rely on husbands for household income should be warned if their fiances are not sound and their husbands die - if they don't have savings the solution is simple - work

As for using credit cards for loans thats the lazy, stupid way out. Again get a job.

I walk around Lowes and Walgreens here in the USA and they are all full of pensioners. The idea of nanny state is an epidemic in the UK and there are too many snouts in the trough filled by nu Lab.

If you are young and naive you may well fall for the sucker punch and allow the lazy and unproductive to whine and moan for benefits they never paid for. Those who are older, and those who take the time to think a little, will realize the west is heading for a transformation because the east is not going to subsidize us any more. The net result is our living standards will fall unless we work and are productive.

Instead of importing africans who think its acceptable to clean hospital toilets with the same cloth they use to clean the sinks, perhaps we could put some of our pensioners to work. Or are they all too good for blue collar jobs......

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its only a mess if you let it be a mess.

No one is forced to retire at 60.

Women who rely on husbands for household income should be warned if their fiances are not sound and their husbands die - if they don't have savings the solution is simple - work

As for using credit cards for loans thats the lazy, stupid way out. Again get a job.

I walk around Lowes and Walgreens here in the USA and they are all full of pensioners. The idea of nanny state is an epidemic in the UK and there are too many snouts in the trough filled by nu Lab.

If you are young and naive you may well fall for the sucker punch and allow the lazy and unproductive to whine and moan for benefits they never paid for. Those who are older, and those who take the time to think a little, will realize the west is heading for a transformation because the east is not going to subsidize us any more. The net result is our living standards will fall unless we work and are productive.

Instead of importing africans who think its acceptable to clean hospital toilets with the same cloth they use to clean the sinks, perhaps we could put some of our pensioners to work. Or are they all too good for blue collar jobs......

I believe that the basic US state pension is actually rather more generous than the one in the UK.

One reason that more pensioners do not work in the UK is that employers such as shops are allowed by law to discriminate against them. Companies can force you out of your job with no compensation once you pass retirement age. In fact huge numbers of UK pensioners work part-time in order to make end meet and they are one of the fastest growing sections of the UK workforce. If you counted the black economy it is probably even bigger.

Edited by up2nogood

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What a mess!

What a mess! and it is not getting any better, very few people save as they are too busy paying for what the have to today...tomorrow is another day, how that day will be paid for is something to worry about tomorrow. ;)

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In the past, it was always the 40 to 59 age group who had bigger debts than any other age group.

Given that people get older, a generation of indebted pensioners would seem to be a natural consequence of the above :lol:

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If I get into debt way over the gunwales, do I get to take it with me when I croak?

(Given that I don't plan on leaving much of anything tangible behind for the kiddywinkles &c. It's just another hassle for young people trying to get on with their lives to be lumbered with, I've found. More of a curse than a boon. I'm going to be the downsize king, getting in touch with my inner calvinist ...).

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I was expecting a post from someone saying 'its a shame' or similar but I am pleased that some consensus is being reached that pensioners should be seen as another group who can be just as financially inept as the young. That said, many of them are not aware that they can receive discounts on many charges such as council tax if they claim.

There is a minimum income guarantee and as another post said, if they still have a mortgage or a house too big, downsize. This is supposed to be what many who think they are on the "ladder" SAY they intend to do when old, but no, they seem to stay rattling around in an expensive to run house "in case visitors come to stay" ?!

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I was expecting a post from someone saying 'its a shame' or similar but I am pleased that some consensus is being reached that pensioners should be seen as another group who can be just as financially inept as the young. That said, many of them are not aware that they can receive discounts on many charges such as council tax if they claim.

There is a minimum income guarantee and as another post said, if they still have a mortgage or a house too big, downsize. This is supposed to be what many who think they are on the "ladder" SAY they intend to do when old, but no, they seem to stay rattling around in an expensive to run house "in case visitors come to stay" ?!

Not so much "in case visitors come to stay" but the point is that when you retire you are in the house ALL DAY, EVERY DAY! That's why most retirees, when it comes to the crunch, baulk at moving into a a 2-bed 15th floor flat - they'd go stir crazy inside 6 months. You need a garden to potter round & get a bit of fresh air, as the older you get the less mobile you are (hence the popularity of bungalows!)

This applies more when you are older, of course - 70 - 80 say; but bear in mind that many 55-65 year olds still have children drifting round University halls of Residence / flatshares who still need a home "base".

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A very fair point. With more time on your hands, you need a bit of space. I wouldn't want to live on a 15th floor flat now, let alone as a pensioner.

However, there are plenty of small houses that only downsizers will be able to buy since FTB can't get the credit now ;)

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  • 293 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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