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More than 1.5 million over 50s consider skipping meals to keep up with cost-of-living crisis

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

Over 1.5million people aged over 50 have already or would consider missing breakfast, lunch or dinner to deal with the cost-of-living crisis, according to research.

In total, 7% of the 2,000 respondents aged over 50 revealed what they’d skip meals to keep up with rising living costs.

More than half (55%) of those surveyed by OneFamily were worried about how they’d be paying their bills each month. Food price inflation and increasing prices of everyday essentials mean that UK households spent an average of £228 more than they did last year on monthly outgoings.

To combat the amount families are shelling out every month, households are looking at simple habit changes to save cash. Some are switching off lights (54%), turning the heating down (54%), cutting down on general food costs (31%) and others are looking elsewhere.

As well as those heading towards retirement age, analysis by Save the Student earlier this month showed the struggle of the younger generation, as almost a fifth of students used a food bank in the last academic year.

Over 55s may wish to consider equity release

Almost a quarter (24%) said they have or would think about releasing equity on their home to unlock money held in their property.

Matthew Ellis, sales and marketing director at OneFamily, commented: “Many of us are feeling the crunch of the cost-of-living crisis, but it’s incredibly concerning that so many people are being forced to consider skipping meals.

He added: “Lifetime mortgages aren’t right for everyone, but in some circumstances releasing equity can be a good way to help free up some cash which is held within a property. An example of this could be moving a mortgage over to equity release to reduce monthly outgoings.

“Alternatively, equity release can be used to free up cash for bigger costs such as property maintenance or a new car if rainy-day savings have been eaten into thanks to the cost-of-living crisis. For those considering equity release, speaking to a specialist adviser should always be the first step in understanding whether it can help with managing long-term finances.”