4.8 million retirees are ‘going without’
The British would like to have three quarters of their working income in retirement. However, pensions remain an obscure topic for many, and 44% have not yet started to save for retirement .
With people living longer and retiring on smaller pension pots, funding retirement poses a very real challenge for many. In fact, a third (32%) of retirees now live on less than the minimum wage, yet more than two thirds (68%) have untapped property wealth which they may not have even considered or don’t realise they could be accessing to fund a more comfortable lifestyle.
Two in five of those aged 65 and over (42%) – 4.8 million pensioners – have ‘gone without’ due to tight budgets according to LV=. These pensioners sacrifice items such as holidays abroad (25%), a new car (16%) or dining out (15%), and one in twenty (5%) can’t afford to buy birthday and Christmas presents for friends and family. Regionally, retirees in the South West and East of England are most likely to go without, with those in Wales (5%) and Scotland (5%) most likely to find it a struggle to keep up with their utility payments.
Of those retirees whose income is less than the equivalent of earning the minimum wage, the number ‘going without’ rises significantly to 54%. Furthermore, one in seven (15%) can’t afford to replace household goods, and over 150,000 are struggling with their utility bills.
It seems that a considerable number of retirees are ‘going without’ in order to stay within budget. However, for many, help could be closer to home than they realise. The research shows that five in six (83%) over-65s own their home and are sitting on an average of £235,750 in property equity, which they could access to have a happier and more comfortable retirement.ν
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 BlackRock Investor Pulse conducted in association with Cicero Group in August 2014. A nationally representative sample of 2,000 people surveyed aged between 25 and 74 years old.
 The National Minimum Wage is £6.50 an hour. According to ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (2014), the average full-time employee works 39.2 hours a week. Therefore, minimum wage would be £254.80 a week, or £13,249.60 a year. This figure was then entered into www.listentotaxman.co.uk, which calculates the amount of tax paid in a given financial year. This provided the figure £12,196.93.
 42% of respondents aged 65 and over have ‘gone without’. If this is applied to the number of people aged 65 and over in the UK (11.4 million – ONS, 2015), then 4.8 million people will have ‘gone without’.
 According to research, 16 people aged 65 and over have an income of less than the minimum wage, which is 1.3% of everyone aged 65 and over. Applying this to the 11.4 million figure from ONS, 2015, this means that 151,585 people are struggling to pay their utility bills who fall in this category.
 According to research carried out by Opinium Research on behalf of LV=, the mean value of equity in over-65s’ homes is £235,752.The research was carried out by Opinium Research from 27–29 July 2015. The total sample size was 2,042 British adults over 18 years old and was conducted online. Results are weighted to a nationally representative criteria.