Debt-riddled pensioners £33K in the red

Following the recent research by Prudential that said that many pensioners are surviving on what equates to an average annual income of less than £5,000, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) has said that the level of debt for those over 60 saw a marked increase during 2005.

The amount of money owed by the over 60s who contacted the CCCS during 2005 was, on average, 25 per cent higher than that of a year before, standing at £33,568.

Council tax and utility bills are forcing many pensioners to live on around £8.49 a day and debt resolution company ClearDebt has offered that this is not always just the consequence of inadequate pension planning.

“Whilst many have made inadequate provision for retirement there are some who also head towards their last pay day with a big debt burden,” says ClearDebt chief executive, David Mond.

“This will become much more difficult to deal with once the only income is a pension. People in their early 50s need to make plans to deal with their debt if they intend to retire in the black.”

Age Concern has said that the over 60s often use money-saving initiatives that highlight the “stark picture” that many pensioners are dealing with, such as “heating just one room rather than the whole house, buying economy food and items near their sell-by date, and buying second-hand clothes from car-boot sales”.

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