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Thousands of people head into retirement with debt


Thousands of people over 55 years of age are heading into their retirement with unsecured debt of up to £10,000, according to solutions provider Debt Advisory Centre.

Credit cards, unsecured loans, mortgages and hire purchase agreements are threatening to impair the retirement of thousands of people over 55 who have not been able to pay off their debts during their working life. The average amount owed by someone over 55 is £4,400, with 13% of people approaching retirement still owing excess of £10,000.

Only about half of those aged over 55 have a plan in place to clear their debts before they retire, but almost a quarter have no idea how they will manage to pay them off. A further 7% expect to delay their retirement so they can afford to carry on their debt payments.

Melanie Taylor, spokeswoman for Debt Advisory Centre, said:
“Most people see their incomes drop once they move from a regular wage to a pension, which usually means they have to change their lifestyle. Trying to make debt repayments with a reduced income means that some pensioners will have to sacrifice more than is comfortable in order to cover priority bills such as a housing costs, utilities and food.
“I would advise anybody reaching retirement age who has concerns about outstanding debts to seek advice on how to put together a manageable repayment plan. The last thing we want to see is people struggling to pay for essentials such as food and heating.”

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