Family Finances Make Over 55s Worse Off Than Expected

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Half the over 55s who thought they had worked out how much money they needed to fund a comfortable retirement need to get their calculators out again to rework the figures.

For 51% of them expectedly must spend to support their children out of  their retirement incomes, suggest new research.

And a few of the ‘sandwich generation’ (4%) are forking out towards the upkeep of their parents as well.

Nearly six out of 10 men and half of women told researchers that they are financially helping children, grandchildren or parents.

Struggling to make ends meet

Struggling to make ends meet the most are one in four aged between 55 and 59 who admit they are financially worse off than they expected to be at this stage of their lives because they are supporting loved ones.

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Voicing the same concern are a fifth (21%) of those in their 60s and 11% in their 70s.

Most blame poor returns on savings and an increasing cost of living, but 21% say their financial problems come from supporting their children while 15% are contributing money to a sick relative.

Over 55s are also more likely to give financial support if they are in social group AB (62%) or they live in Wales, where 60% help family members compared to 53% in England, 42% in Scotland and 46% in Northern Ireland.

Financially uncomfortable

Nearly all the 1,000 people interviewed for the survey by financial firm SunLife were homeowners with a property worth an average £290,658 who had lived there for an average 24 years. Nearly two-thirds (62%) did not want to downsize and are considering equity release to raise some cash.

Simon Stanney, equity release director at SunLife said: “Our research shows that one in four people in their 50s are not as financially comfortable as they thought they’d be at this stage in their lives – of those, one in five say that is because they have ended up supporting others financially. Many need a cash injection, but don’t want to move and for these people, unlocking some of the value in their homes via equity release could offer the solution.”

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