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Brits 'Set For Financial Difficulties In Later Life'

Oct 9, 2007
More than a million Britons over the age of 55 could be set for financial hardship in later life, the results of a new study have suggested.

In research published by Scottish Widows, only a quarter of people (26 per cent) in this age group report that they are set to give up working upon reaching the current state retirement age of 65 for men and 60 for women. Meanwhile, a third of over-55s - about 1.5 million - state that they may have to carry on working after reaching the retirement age due to a shortfall in the money they have saved in their pension schemes, with utility bill costs, loan responsibilities and outstanding mortgage debt being possible constraints on them not being able to set money aside.

About four in ten respondents assert that a state pension would not provide them with enough cash to be able to support the quality of life that they would like during retirement. As a means of alleviating financial pressures, the majority (53 per cent) of over-55s claim that it should be compulsory for Britons to save money.

Further research from the financial services firm showed that 41 per cent of people in this age bracket see their current monetary situation as "tight" and that they do not have enough spare income left at the end of each month - which in turn could affect their ability to save into pension funds and pay off loans. Meanwhile, just under a quarter (23 per cent) of respondents state that they are concerned about their financial security rather than their health. Some 26 per cent reported that the only investment that they have is the value of their property.

Ian Naismith, head of pensions market development at Scottish Widows, said: "The current generation of over-55s is definitely divided into haves and have-nots. The haves generally have good employer pensions, often based on their final salary and can retire at or before state pension age with good incomes. The have-nots are discovering that they will have to work for longer than they might have expected just to make ends meet".

"The worry is that with the decline in employer pension provision the next generation may well be dominated by have-nots, who realise they might have to work until quite a late age but do not feel they can afford to put aside money now. Not only will they have to retire later but they are losing out on the significant tax relief benefits that pensions offer."

Consequently, those worried that they may not have sufficient funds to put into a pension scheme may wish to take out a loan as a means of debt consolidation, which could allow them to pay off existing debts quickly and free up more cash to save for retirement. Earlier this year, Helen Saxon, spokesperson for the Finance and Leasing Association, claimed that opting for a debt consolidation loan ahead of credit cards will see consumers liable to pay lower rates of interest on their borrowing. However, she advised borrowers to ensure that they will be able to pay off any loan they take out and to be able not to get back into the red again.
About the Author
Mark Dawson writes for Loan-Arrangers .co.uk where visitors can compare cheap loans online. Then apply for the best rate secured loans and bad credit loans available.
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