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Retired Britons Owe 'Thousands In Mortgage Debt'

Aug 18, 2007
Older people are facing increasing debt problems, according to the publication of new figures.

In Scottish Widows' UK Pensions Report 2007, one out of five retired homeowners (1.1 million) are still making repayments on their mortgage. With the average respondent owing the sum of 38,000 pounds, an estimated one in eight are said to be facing even further financial pressures later on in life as they have more than 50,000 pounds yet to pay via such secured loans.

The study also showed that retirees are struggling with "short-term debts" accrued through the likes of credit cards and personal loans. As the typical balance due is 5,900 pounds, about a third of older people have carried over money owed through these avenues of borrowing for each of the last three months. Overall, those Britons who have given up working are said to owe 57 billion pounds.

Ian Naismith, head of pensions market development for Scottish Widows, said: "Our research shows that by the time they come to retire a significant number of pensioners still have a mortgage outstanding on their property, adding financial pressure to their hard-earned retirement fund. It is important for those people who will be reaching retirement in the next few years and still have debt outstanding on their mortgage, to consider how best to prepare themselves for the eventuality of having to juggle their debts on a reduced income when they stop working."

He added that as a rising number of Britons are taking out mortgages later on in life, they are looking to use equity from their property as a means of securing their financial future. "The knock-on effect of getting on the housing ladder later is that money that could have been put into a pension is being used on monthly mortgage payments," Mr Naismith suggested.

Findings from the financial services firm also showed that even more Britons could be set to face increased monetary strains as they approach retirement. According to the company some 42 per cent of those aged 50 to 59 are being "burdened" with the responsibilities of making monthly mortgage repayments as they have a typical debt of 54,300 pounds. Meanwhile, a quarter of consumers between the ages of 60 and 64 are still paying back on this area of spending, with 42,800 pounds the average amount owed.

The Scottish Widows study also showed that thousands of retirees are financially supporting their children. One out of 12 older people, about 700,000, are helping out their offspring - 16 per cent of which are reported to be over the age of 35. In addition, retirees suggested that more Britons should start putting money away for later life soon. The typical retired person claimed that 27 years and seven months is the age that consumers should begin to save into pension pots, in comparison to the answer of 30 years and four months which was given by 18 to 29-year-olds.

Earlier this month, a study by Unbiased showed that many older people could be facing unnecessary pressure on their finances as some 2 billion pounds in pension credits are to go unclaimed during 2007. Overall, up to 25 per cent of consumers were revealed to be not making use of such entitlements, which guarantees a set weekly income.
About the Author
Tom Dawson writes for Essentially Home Loans where visitors can apply for secured loans online, we also specialise in bad credit loans for UK residents. Visit Today: http://news.essentiallyhomeloans.co.uk
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