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Pensioner mortgage debt averages £38,000

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13/08/2007

20% of retired homeowners are still paying off their mortgage, with the amount outstanding averaging £38,000. One in eight pensioners owe more than £50,000 on their homeloan, and a third also owe money on credit cards, with the average balance weighing in at £5,900.

According to research from Scottish Widows, the total debt held by UK pensioners adds up to £57 billion.

Ian Naismith, head of pensions market development at Scottish Widows, said that these debts were “adding financial pressure to [pensioners’] hard-earned retirement funds”, and advised:

“It is important for those people who will be reaching retirement in the next few years, and still have debt outstanding on their mortgage, to consider how best to prepare themselves for the eventuality of having to juggle their debts on a reduced income when they stop working.”

The research also revealed that one in 12 retired people still has at least one financially dependent child, with almost a third of these offspring over the age of 18, and 16% over the age of 35.

With so many demands on their limited income, pensioners have a modest take on what it means to be ‘well-off,’ citing annual income of £27,700 as sufficient to put them in this category. That compares to the nation at large, which deems earnings of £36,300 to mean ‘well-off’.

The average retiree’s annual household income is £22,900.

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