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How over-50s are boosting their retirement income in the 0.5% world

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
We've now had seven years of record low interest rates but the over-50s are using various methods to boost their retirement income.

Many retired people rely on savings for their retirement income but since March 2009, when interest rates hit rock bottom, returns on cash have taken a dive. According to Hargreaves Lansdown, cash savers have missed out on £160bn of interest over the past seven years.

But research from Saga suggests its customers – who are all over the age of 50 – have been using alternative ways to boost returns.

More than half of the 4,700 polled said they were investing in shares to get a higher return, while others have invested in income paying funds.

Analysis from the Centre for Economic Business Research (Cebr) on behalf of Saga showed that a small nudge in investment returns of 1% would make the average over-50s household £700 better off.

Another option many over 50s have taken is to invest in property.  Around 8% of people polled are landlords and just under half bought property with the intention to rent it out for income, Saga said.

Meanwhile one in seven landlords inherited a property and then chose to let it out for income instead of selling it on.

Other over-50s have taken the decision to continue working. There are currently 1.2m people over 65 in full or part time work, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and there’s a trend for older people to start their own business or become self-employed.

Over-50s taking matters into their own hands

Saga’s Paul Green said: “There has been a seven year itch for income and there appears little prospect of savings rates increasing in the near future.

“People approaching retirement have had enough of waiting for interest rates to rise and have taken matters into their own hands.  These are generations of people who have been used to tearing up the rule book and creating their own future. Just as they have spent a lifetime working they now have to focus on making their money work harder for them.”

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