Pensioners struggling with cost of living

Posted on April 15th, 2011 | Categories - Pensions

Older people are facing difficulties in paying their bills and funding their personal  living costs.

One in ten pensioners are really struggling to manage on their income.

An increasing number of pensioners are finding it hard to cope with rising living costs and inflation, according to new research.

The study, carried out by Age UK, found that 47% of pensioners “are just getting by” with 11% admitting that they are “really struggling” to cope.

Almost a fifth of the 1,258 respondents said they had cut back on their heating to manage their money. A further 26% said they are buying cheaper food and 19% said they are going out less.

Poorer pensioners were found to be worse off with 35% spending less on food and 21% going out less.

More than one in ten participants said they had credit card debt, mortgage debt or bank loan liabilities.

However, despite their money problems a third of people who are eligible to claim pension credit fail to do so with another two million pensioners missing out on council tax benefits.

Age UK’s director Michelle Mitchell said: “At a time when so many people are struggling financially, it is unacceptable that vital benefits are failing to reach some of the poorest and most vulnerable older people in our society. This is money that could make a huge difference to people’s quality of life. Ultimately, the best way to ensure that people receive the benefits they are entitled to is for them to be paid automatically.”

She continued: “But in the meantime, the evidence shows that clear, independent information and advice and face-to-face communication are key to improving the take-up of benefits.”