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2011 a year to forget for over-55s

2011 a year to forget for over-55s

Category: Money

Updated: 07/12/2011
First Published: 07/12/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Many over-55s will be looking forward to seeing the back of 2011, with savings and income both in decline.

In fact, figures from Aviva show that the UK 's over 55s are 'significantly poorer' than they were 12 months ago.

While average monthly income for the over-55s has risen in the last quarter from £1,216 (September 2011) to £1,285 (December 2011), it has declined by 4% from £1,335 this time last year.

And with year-on-year inflation running at 5.4%, this actually means the over-55s are even worse off.

The typical person over 55 now has £11,153 in savings and investments, which is 27% lower than December 2010 when the average was £15,262 – partly because more people have found themselves dipping into funds to top up their income in order to meet day-to-day costs.

But, it is also due to the fact that more people have started saving, as the number of over 55s with no savings has fallen from 16% (December 2010) to 15% (December 2011).

In fact, the number of non-savers has hit its lowest level for two years (41% December 2010 compared to 36% December 2011).

The average unsecured debts of the over-55s have increased to £21,901 (December 2011) from £19,878 in March 2011. However, the total debt of those with mortgages and other debts is £80,849 (December 2011), which is down from £84,985 in March 2011.

"While the average amount the over-55s have in savings is down this is partly due to the fact that more people are now starting to save, which is good news," said Clive Bolton, 'at retirement' director at Aviva.

"However, with income levels falling and inflation rising, it is going to make it difficult for some to maintain their standard of living and to secure a comfortable retirement income for themselves.

"The importance of planning for your income in retirement cannot be stressed enough, and the earlier people begin the more they will potentially boost their financial security in the long term."

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