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Debt in retirement a ‘source of worry’ for many older homeowners

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Interest-only shortfalls, credit card debts and personal loans are causing stress for many older homeowners
Debt in retirement a ‘source of worry’ for many older homeowners

A debt squeeze is spoiling retirement for one in five over-65s, according to Key Retirement.

It found that one in seven are relying on credit cards to boost their income in retirement, and the worry created is set to get worse among older homeowners.

Levels of both secured and unsecured debt held by over-65s are on the rise. Secured debt such as mortgages account for £73bn and, worryingly, nearly 40% of 65-74 year olds with an interest-only mortgage will struggle when the capital repayment is due.

Debt in retirement is not caused by over-spending however. A combination of inadequate saving, the launch of pension freedoms and unexpected bills have meant pensioners need to rely on borrowing in retirement.

More than half (55%) of those surveyed say they had to pay unexpected bills on credit cards, with car repairs the biggest issue followed by emergency house repairs.

Dean Mirfin, chief product officer at Key Retirement, said: “The issue of debt in retirement isn’t discussed as openly as it should be. However not only is it a problem, it’s a growing one.

“Pensioners worried about debt are not alone. We are all living longer and that means our savings have to last longer and we have to plan more carefully.”

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