Over 65s, who are in control of their finances, feel calmer, happier and less worried, according to new research.
The latest analysis by Age UK has shown the importance of older people feeling on top of their finances, with 33% of those over 65 saying they feel generally calmer and happier as a result of feeling in control and 34% admitting they worry less.
However, in contrast the charity revealed that two million over 65s have nobody to talk to about money issues.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “Being in control of your finances, regardless of how much money you have, is clearly a key component of good mental health and can make a big difference to how we feel about life generally.
She adds: “It’s important to talk about these things, especially as we know that there many older people who aren’t receiving the help and support they are entitled to. That’s why we’re urging anyone who is struggling financially, or is worried about a friend or relative, to get in touch with us for help and advice on how to get on top of their finances and feel more in control.”
The data found that although the vast majority of over 65s surveyed feel in control of their day-to-day finances, 17% are just getting by or finding it difficult to manage on their weekly income, rising to 23% for single over 65s.
In fact, a much higher number of those who are on their own because they are single, widowed, separated or divorced, reported having nobody to talk to about money issues. This accounted for 31% of single older people and 21% of widowed, divorced or separated, compared to just 7% of those who are married or living with a partner, and 16% of all older people on average.
Worryingly, 14% of the over 65s surveyed said they are more worried about their financial situation than this time last year, with one in 12 saying they would find it difficult to pay for an unexpected bill of £200 to replace an essential item such as washing machine or cooker.
Carl Shave, director of Just Mortgage Brokers, said: “Financial matters and money worries are a concern for many, and the statistics from Age UK shows that those in the demographic 65+ are no different. The figures are also of importance as we find a greater number of mortgage loans continuing beyond retirement and given the evidence of the recent surge in equity release. Brokers play an important role with the advice they provide, ensuring a client’s understanding of their future commitments and financial situation.”
Martin Bamford, chartered financial planner and managing director, at Informed Choice, said: “Having someone you can chat with about financial issues plays a big part in removing stress about money. Speaking to a professional adviser can be easier than talking issues through with someone close to you. When a financial planner is able to cut through the emotions associated with money and suggest a clear path, in our experience this takes a big weight off the shoulders of clients.”
Aamina Zafar is one of the UK’s leading financial journalists. She has previously worked as a senior reporter at FT’s Financial Adviser. The award-winning journalist writes regularly on the IFA community, mortgages, pensions and financial regulation.
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