Nearly a quarter of people aged 50 and over are unable to plan a comfortable retirement and are instead having to battle with making ends meet, as the alarming cost of living shows little sign of abating.
The results of a survey by the pension provider Friends Life found that 23% of people class making ends meet as their primary financial concern, compared with 14% ten years ago.
At a time when many people should be thinking about enjoying their retirement, a startling 43.9% of the 1,600 people questioned claimed to have an average of £29,000 remaining on their mortgages, whilst 30% have at least £50,000 left to pay off.
Paying back other existing credit, such as credit cards and loans was the biggest concern for 14% of people.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of those surveyed believe they have less disposable income compared to ten years ago, with only 21% stating that saving for the future was their financial priority.
Managing director of corporate benefits at Friends Life, Colin Williams, said: "This just highlights the fact that it is more important than ever to get the message through that saving for retirement is crucial.
"If many are struggling to make ends meet whilst they are still working, then they may find themselves in more dire straits when they reach retirement, so early planning is critical," he said.
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