Debt Problems and the Elderly

moneyHow to help an elderly person who has debt problems.

Retirement should be the time people relax and spend time doing the things they enjoy, without having to worry about money.  Research for Age UK suggests this certainly is not the case for some people.

Nearly one in five people over 60 still owe money on a mortgage, credit card or loan.

The survey, carried out by TNS ( a world leader in market research, global market information and business analysis) also found that more than a third of retirees didn’t feel that the income from their pensions and savings was sufficient for a financially stable future. More than one in ten (11%) had borrowed money to pay their rent or mortgage.

Age UK are keen to emphasise that many older people could improve their situation by checking what state benefits they are entitled to.

£5.5 billion in benefits goes unclaimed each year, with up to 1.6 million older people entitled to Pension Credit but not claiming it.

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General at Age UK commented: “It is extremely worrying that such a high number of older people report having debts and have had to borrow money just to keep a roof over their heads. Most older people live on a relatively small income, so making debt repayments can be a worry.

“Far too many older people are living in poverty and the Government must continue to work proactively on ways of getting money to older people who are in desperate need.

Older people are more likely than any other age group to miss out on their benefits because they are hesitant to claim, don’t think they are eligible, or believe the claiming process is over-complicated and intrusive.

There is a real need to get rid of the stigma that some people associate with claiming benefits.

If you are having problems with debt or know someone who is the first thing to do is Don’t Panic.

There are several agencies available to help, Age UK,Citizens Advice and the Debt advisory  service.

Here are links to the relevant sites

Problems paying utility debts can more often than be negotiated with the supplier. A simple telephone call is usually all that is required and several companies may even write  past debts off in some exceptional circumstances.

 

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Caron

Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

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