Pensioner Poverty – Can you afford to Retire?
I know we keep banging on about this subject but it just won’t go away. I have this uneasy feeling that when I’m done with my “day job” I’m not going to be able to afford to live on what I’ve earned or saved so far. So where does that leave me or the 13.4% of people aged 65+ in the UK and 21.5% if you are in the USA? …well in Poverty that’s where? Judging by the statistics below it’s better than living in South Korea, but what are you and I going to do to avoid becoming a victim of Pensioner Poverty?
You will find more statistics at Statista
According to Age UK, 1.6 million pensioners live on or below the poverty line. Too many older people in our society are poor and low benefits take-up is a key reason. Pensioner poverty remains stubbornly persistent, despite older people being entitled to means-tested benefits designed to increase their incomes, including Pension Credit.
As this report shows, the really big problem is that many older people who are entitled to these ‘top-ups’ to their low incomes never actually receive them. Last year the Age UK network helped to identify £160 million of benefits for older people but we know that much more continue to miss out on the money that is theirs by right.
As a result, hundreds of thousands are struggling to afford basic essentials like fresh food, warm clothes, and heating during the winter.
The latest estimates of take-up found that in 2009–102 around a third (up to 1.6 million) of older people who were entitled to Pension Credit were not claiming it. On average they were missing out on over £1700 a year (£33 a week).
How Can we reduce the risk of Pension Poverty?
The challenge, therefore, is getting the information to these people and making sure they do .
That’s where people like us (yes you and me) can try and persuade our elderly friends and neighbours to do something about it. It starts with contacting the relevant agencies like Citizens Advice, Age UK and Gov.uk giving them the names and addresses of the people concerned (with their consent of course) and following up to make sure they have all the support and money entitled to them.
Age UK says: Money worries have a huge impact on our health, wellbeing, and happiness, at any stage of life. Such pressures can feel all the more frightening and hard to bear for older people, who have few, if any, options for increasing their incomes. That’s why it is all the more important that they receive additional financial help from welfare benefits when they are entitled to them.
This report has set out a number of ways in which the Government can make sure this happens and it is no exaggeration to say that this would transform many lives. Our older people deserve better than to have to count every penny so they can be confident they can make ends meet at the end of each week. It doesn’t have to be like this and with the right policies and political will we can consign that to the past, where it surely belongs.
Not quite a Pensioner Poverty but need to do something about your Retirement?
According to Gallup (April 22nd, 2014), the top Financial worry for middle-aged people is Retirement. I am one of these people, at nearly 50yrs of age, I have a small number of private pensions each one started and finished with the job I had at the time. Cumulatively they are not going to keep me in the house that I am currently living in or the lifestyle I enjoy. Despite saving 5% of my Income, the figures did not add up.
Here are my top 10 tips for Retirement
- Find out how much you will need to Retire on – ask your Pension provider for a forecast then work out how much you currently spend.
- Start to increase your savings pot – 10%-15% is what you need to save of your yearly income for Retirement.
- Prioritize your Retirement fund first – Then think about your kids college fund after.Your children have their whole lives ahead of them.
- Tackle your debts – switch your credit cards to zero interest, pay off your mortgage early (without incurring costs)
- Join a company Pension plan and max out on what you can pay. Check that your employer matches your contribution.
- Cut down on major costs – Downsizing, switching loans to lower rates, holiday at home, keep your car for a year longer.
- Delay your retirement or consider part time if you can.
- Get Financial help from an Independent advisor
- Make a Financial plan, agree with the family and stick to it.
- Enjoy your Retirement.
The bad news is that most people who think about starting an online business and creating a life of freedom and flexibility don’t ever even get started…
Because, well frankly, they just don’t have the technical know how to get up and running.
The good news, however, is that thanks to the Internet it is easier than ever to get up and running as a Homepreneur. Everything you need is out there, sometimes you just need a bit of help finding it.
If you would like to discuss anything relating to Pensioner Poverty then please Contact me via Skype: louisehunt2012 or email me by clicking here.
Age UK is campaigning to end pensioner poverty. Join them at www.ageuk.org.uk/endpensionerpoverty
How we can end pensioner poverty – Age UK’s calls to action
What is a pension and how do they work? – Report by Saga
Are you entitled to Pension Credit? – Gov.uk
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Pensioner Poverty – Can you afford to Retire?