Save, make, understand money


Pensioners need £60 a week more to live on

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

The average pensioner needs nearly £230 a week to live on, almost £60 more than the state pension pays.

Analysis of government spending data shows that a typical pensioner spends £227.50 – or £11,830 a year – on basics such as food, clothes and utility bills, while leaving some spare cash for entertainment.

That’s 35% or £58.90 more than the full basic state pension of £168.60 a week.

However, the cost of retirement varies across the UK, according to research produced by equity release adviser Key.

The average pensioner in the South East needs £274.40 a week or £14,270 a year, which is 63% more than the state pension. But in the West Midlands, the figure drops to £197.70 a week or £10,280 a year.

The two biggest weekly outlays are utility bills and food, which both account for 20% of spending – or £2,370 a year on average.

Transport, including the cost of running a car, eats up around 16% of bills, while spending on entertainment costs around 23%.

Will Hale, chief executive of Key, said: “With retirees needing 35% more than the full state pension provides, people need to think carefully about how they will bridge this gap.

“Workplace and private pensions, as well as savings and investments, can help – but for most people, maintaining a decent standard of living in retirement means maximising all sources of income.”