People in their 50s concerned about their financial future

Close to a quarter of people in their early 50s are afraid of falling on hard times and may be forced out if their homes, according to new research fr…

Close to a quarter of people in their early 50s are afraid of falling on hard times and may be forced out if their homes, according to new research from Age UK.

Some 23 per cent of the 971 people surveyed aged between 50 and 55 are concerned they will not be able to keep up with mortgage payments or rent in the coming years. 

The charity believes this is a worry, as people in this age group should be at the peak of their earning power and said the figures painted a "worrying picture" for future pensioners.

People in their early 50s were more likely to be made redundant than younger workers and it was much more difficult for them to get back into the workplace.

Pensioners who have usually relied on interest from savings have experienced declining income levels in recent times, with the cost of energy, fuel and food rising. This results in a dramatic loss in spending power and many are now looking to take drastic measures, including leaving their home behind.

Using data compiled by the Department for Work and Pensions, the charity estimated that around 900,000 of the 1.6 million pensioners currently classed as living in poverty were actually in ‘severe poverty’, as their income is less than 50 per cent of the minimum living standard.

One in five said they are struggling financially, while 44 per cent claim they are worse off now than they were 12 months ago.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director general at Age UK, said: "We know that times are tough financially. But when a significant number of people aged 50 and over say they are worried about losing their homes, it's a clear sign that many are truly struggling to keep their heads above water."

Only a third of the individuals surveyed are confident about their future prospects and many are struggling with large amounts of personal debt. It's important for people to keep on top of their debts in order to avoid having to leave their home in the future.

By James Francis

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