Many over 50s fear losing their homes

The Momentum UK Team 31 July 2013

Almost a quarter (23%) of people aged 50 and over are afraid of losing their homes, according to research by the charity Age UK.

The research reveals that almost a quarter of over 50s fear being forced to leave their homes, due to being unable to keep up rent or mortgage repayments.

Traditionally, people in this age group should be at the peak of their earning power, but this doesn’t seem to be the case for today’s soon-to-be pensioners. Age UK also found that over 50s were more likely to be made redundant than other age groups, and that it is harder for them to get back into the workplace afterwards. In fact, using figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Age UK found that unemployment among 50-64 year olds increased by 5.7% in the first 3 months of this year.

The research also found that 191,000 (46%) of unemployed people aged 50 to 64 have been out of work for at least 12 months with declining prospects of finding new work - compared to just 37% of those aged between 25 and 49.

Commenting on the findings, Michelle Mitchell of Age UK said:

“We know that times are tough financially, but when a significant number of people aged 50 and over say they are worried about losing their homes, it's a clear sign that many are truly struggling to keep their heads above water.”

Age UK said that these findings present a “worrying picture” for those about to retire, and there are also indications that those already in retirement are facing difficulties of their own. Falling savings rates and annuity rates at a historic low are meaning that people’s pension pots may not be worth as much as they thought they would. According to Age UK, the annuity payout from a £100,000 pension pot has fallen by £433 since April 2012.

Whilst findings by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggest that pensioners have seen their incomes rise more than any other age group since 2008, Age UK found that the majority of 50-64 year olds believe that the government is mishandling the economy and treating older people badly.