Retirees ‘still dealing with debt’

Millions of retirees in the UK are dealing with debt management problems, according to recent research carried out by Scottish Widows.

Close to a third of retirees around the country have had cause to carry over their personal loan or credit card debt at some point during the past three months, the financial services firm reports.

The average amount of debt owed by retired Britons excluding mortgage arrears amounts to around £5,900 and the total debt management burden of this sector is worth around £57 billion, the latest figures suggest.

Ian Naismith, head of pensions market development at Scottish Widows, said: “With more and more people taking out mortgages later, and paying them off later, we are seeing many people turning to the equity in their home as a method of providing income in retirement.

“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.”

A report from the Consumer Credit Counselling Service earlier this year suggested that the burden of debt management is increasingly shifting to older generations in the UK.

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