Food and fuel costs ‘hit the old more’

Older people may be more likely to suffer debt management problems as a result of the rise in food and fuel prices, it has been suggested.

Charity for old people Independent Age stated that there had been a disproportionate impact on this demographic from recent price trends.

Director of policy and communication Simon Bottery commented that the elderly are also being hit by poor returns on savings due to base rate cuts, meaning many have to use equity release to make ends meet.

He remarked: “Their choices are to cut back on spending, eat into savings if they have them or raise extra money through schemes such as equity release.”

Mr Bottery said that this was a viable prospect for the two-thirds of over-65s who own a home outright, but urged them to check what benefits they can get, as “£5.4 billion” goes unclaimed each year.

According to the Key retirement Solutions UK Equity Release Market Monitor, repayment of debt was the main reason for 35 per cent of instances where people sought to raise money by such means, compared with 11 per cent in 2008.

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