The vast majority of the population spend most of their adult lives saving for retirement and paying into a pension.
However, the cost of living crisis has seriously affected everyone, with the elderly being no exception.
Countless are experiencing the struggle for their pensions to keep up with the steep hike in everyday prices.
Unfortunately, one in seven people aged 65 and over has been turning to loans and credit cards to make ends meet during the cost-of-living crisis.
Low Income and High Costs
The average pension income in the UK is £1,564 which is equivalent to the minimum wage for someone who works full time.
It’s true that the older generations are much more likely to own their own home and have potentially paid off their mortgage.
However, it’s expected that the number of retired couples who privately rent will double within the next 10 years.
Even though the older generations are less likely to be paying rent or a mortgage, their everyday costs will have risen along with the rest of the population, yet they do not have the means to increase their statistically low income.
45% of those aged 50-plus currently find it difficult to afford their energy bills.
Devastatingly, last year 8,500 elderly people died as a result of living in cold homes.
Almost two thirds of elderly tenants have cut back on their everyday spending in the recent climate. To add to this, 71% have said that they would not be able to afford a £50 rise in expenses.
For someone who has worked their whole lives and paid into a pension that they believed would support them in later life, this will feel frustrating.
This has even led many to an increase in the elderly using credit to keep up with their expenses.
When desperate for credit, it can be easy to lose control of what is owed. For example, over five million adults in the UK aren’t sure how much they owe in outstanding debts. To add to this, two thirds of Brits have admitted to having debt that weighs them down.
The elderly may not have the means, the knowledge or the time to face the debts that they build up, leaving them in a difficult position financially.
Struggling in the Digital Age
According to Age UK, older people are traditionally seen as living within their means and reluctant to use credit. However, stagnant income and low returns from savings along with rising basic costs are adding to financial pressures on many retired people.
In the future there may be an increase in elderly people in debt as the younger generations move up. This is because the younger generations are far more familiar with debts and having access to credit digitally.
For now, the older generation is still relatively new to the digital age.
Older people are more likely to struggle when dealing with finances digitally. This could lead to them missing credit payments or taking out credit and not understanding the terms of the agreement.
According to Compare the Market, 31% of those over 65 aren’t using the internet at all and are still digitally excluded.
Furthermore, 43% of over 65’s are narrow internet users who only go online for a small number of activities.
Debt Help Available
For those who have found themselves with unaffordable debt, there are solutions that can help.
Here at Trust Deed Scotland® we provide advice on all formal debt solutions that are available in Scotland.
Our experienced debt advisers will be able to discuss your situation and provide you with information on all the solutions that would suit your individual circumstances so that you can make an informed decision on what is right for you.
A Trust Deed is an example of one of the solutions that we offer.
A Trust Deed provides legal protection from the people that you owe money to, while freezing interest and charges. It allows you to consolidate all of your debt repayments into just one affordable payment for a period of four years. At the end of the 48-month term, the remainder of the debt is legally written off.
Another example of a debt solution that we offer is the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS). The DAS, like a Trust Deed, allows you to consolidate your debt into one affordable monthly payment while freezing interest and charges. The difference is that you would pay that affordable payment until the full debt amount is paid.
If you think that a debt solution may be the right option for you, you can try either our WhatsApp debt advice service or Livechat debt advice services, or quickly check your options using our Trust Deed Wizard tool. Call us on 0141 221 0999.