Market Research RSS Feeds Research RSS FeedsSat, 26 May 2018 13:05:23 BST Pensioners have an average of £3,500 in credit card debts, survey reveals Pensioners have an average of £3,500 in credit card debts: Debts are mounting for British pensioners as they turn to credit cards to pay unexpected bills, a survey has found. The research, on behalf of equity release provider, Key Retirement, also found that almost 20 per cent of retirees are struggling to pay the debt back. Unanticipated bills were found to be a major cause of credit card debt, with 18 per cent saying this was the reason they had to go into the red. The most common reason for credit card spending was for car repairs with just under half of respondents (49%) having to turn to their plastic to pay the bill. Other reasons were cited as home repairs (39%) and helping their children out financially (19%). While the average balance owed was £3,500, this figure was greater in the West Midlands where debts amounted to £4,700. Pensioners in the north west and north east amassed slightly less at £3,900. Paying back the money The survey also found that of all the retirees spending on credit cards, 61 per cent believe they will be able to settle the debts quickly, while 29 per cent anticipate that time frame will be closer to five years. Six per cent of respondents are unsure if they will ever be able to repay the money owed. Dean Mirfin of Key Retirement said: "It is not possible to plan for everything and sometimes an unexpected bill will mean having to rely on credit cards to fund it. "The problem then compounds itself if people cannot clear the balance and get caught by another surprise bill. 'Unfortunately, it all adds up, which means a serious financial burden in retirement. People need to get help and look at all their assets which should include their property if they are a homeowner.' People facing retirement still supporting family members, survey finds A survey by financial services provider, Prudential, found that almost a third (31%) of people planning to retire this year are still supporting family members financially. The poll found that while children are the most likely to be given financial support from parents, grandchildren and even older generations are also being helped ' with an average spend of £4,320 a year. Just under a quarter (23%) of those expecting to retire in 2018 help their families with university tuition fees and money towards living expenses. Others (22%) are helping children with a financial boost to help them buy their first home. Monthly spending Soon-to-be retirees predict they will pay out around £360 per month to family members, with 19 per cent putting that figure at over £500 ' money that 27 per cent of respondents say goes towards travel expenses and other living costs such as food. The average number of family members being supported by those planning to retire this year is three, the poll of 1,000 found. 'Increasing financial pressure faced by people of all ages, such as the cost of university education and the rising cost of buying a home, means that providing financial support to family members continues well in to retirement,' said Stan Russell, a Prudential retirement income expert. 'While it's understandable so many people want to financially support family members, it is important to make sure they have enough money set aside themselves to cover their own living costs and don't put their retirement at risk,' he added. Half of self-employed ‘seriously concerned’ about pension Half of self-employed 'seriously concerned' about pension: Concerns over lack of savings is a big worry for just under half of self-employed people, a survey has revealed. Forty-six per cent of self-employed respondents who took part in the poll of 1,000 are 'seriously concerned' about their retirement savings, with 38% 'seriously concerned' with their current pension savings. Those questioned in the survey also took part in focus groups across the UK conducted by cross-party think-tank, Demos, supported by the Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE). Happy in self-employment despite pension concerns It found that despite being worried over pension forecasts, eight in ten were happy with being self-employed, with seven out of ten having no plans to leave their current working situation. Alan Lockey, head of Demos' Modern Economy Programme, said: "The rise of self-employment is one of the biggest changes to the modern economy in the last couple of decades. "We need to think pragmatically about whether we should actively encourage it ' it could be that it is the British solution for a more flexible, less rigid approach to life and work in the future, as it already is for millions of people. "That means we need a new deal to boost security for the self-employed and by far the most urgent problem is dealing with a looming pensions and savings crisis." 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