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One in ten elderly forced to sell or downsize their home to make ends meetStaggering amount of people forced to sell their property to make ends meetBritons are also pushing back the age they expect to retire
23:37 GMT, 25 December 2012
23:37 GMT, 25 December 2012
One in ten pensioners in Britain has sold or downsized their home to help make ends meet, according to research.
Cash-strapped Britons are reassessing their retirement plans because of the state of the economy, according to a survey of 1,000 adults in 12 European countries, which found that more people in this country are planning to use their property to fund their pension than in most other European nations.
They are also reconsidering the age at which they will stop working, with an average delay of five years.
Fears: A total of ten per cent of pensioners say they have sold or downsized their home because of money worries
The average age at which people planned to retire before 2007 was 60, but this has gone up to 65, the research found.
In comparison, French people have increased their estimated retirement age from 60 to 62, while workers in Turkey still believe they can stop work at 55.
The survey, commissioned by finance firm ING Direct, found that more than a third of Britons planned to use their property to fund their retirement, compared with less than a quarter on the continent.
ING Direct chief executive Richard Doe said: ‘As a nation of homeowners and with property often the largest asset Brits have, it’s not surprising that many people are considering downsizing as a way to fund their retirement.
Elderly people are being forced to drastically reassess their retirement plans. File picture
‘Even though people’s retirement plans have been affected by economic factors over recent years, they’re often delaying in order to build up their savings to give themselves a more stable retirement.’
Just last week the head of the Civil Service said that people were ‘deluding’ themselves if they thought they could enjoy a comfortable retirement without living more frugally and working longer.
Sir Bob Kerslake said he believed ministers had failed to have an ‘honest debate’ with the public about the issue.
He told a Lords committee that it was ‘absolutely clear’ that the pension age would have to rise, but that the public had not ‘faced up’ to this.
He added that people needed to come to terms with the fact that they would have to make do with poorer circumstances in retirement than current pensioners.
Currently, men can get their state pension at 65 and women must wait until they reach 61 and three months.
However, the pension eligibility ages are rising constantly.
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