Save, make, understand money


It costs £210 a week being a pensioner

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The average annual cost of being a pensioner is £10,830, but this is nearly a third more than the amount retirees receive from the State Pension.

Spending on food, clothes and bills equates to around £210 a week for pensioners, according to Key Retirement.

This amount is nearly 32% more than what pensioners (retiring from April 2016 onwards) receive under the flat rate State Pension – a maximum of £159.55 a week.

The firm said the national average conceals huge regional variations with pensioners in London needing around £4,700 more a year than pensioners in the North East of England. The average annual cost in London is £13,400 compared with £8,700 in the North East.

Pensioners in the South East of England and East Anglia face annual costs above the UK average while retired people in the South West pay around the national average of £10,830, the data shows.

The analysis revealed that the average retired household spends around 14% of their cash on housing and fuel – which equates to around £1,500 a year – roughly the same as what is spent on food and non-alcoholic drinks (£1,560).

When it comes to transport, car running costs make up 11% of annual spending, coming in at £1,200 a year. With any spare cash, it’s put towards entertaining and eating out to the tune of £1,600 a year.

Given that many retirees will suffer a shortfall in the amount received from the State Pension and their outgoings, Key Retirement said pensioners may want to tap into their property wealth to release equity and free up some cash.

Dean Mirfin, technical director at, said: “The basic cost of being a pensioner at around £10,830 a year demonstrates the importance of saving for retirement and generating income on top of State Pensions.

“Over-65s own property worth more than £1 trillion and are literally sitting on spare cash which can be used tax-free to boost their income particularly when inflation is rising and interest rates remain at historic lows.”