More people living alone in retirement

29 May 2019

Rise in single people aged 55

There are now more than 3.8 million people aged over 65 living on their own in the UK, with almost six in ten of these being aged 75 and over. The Cost of Living Alone report published by the ONS says this is, in part, down to the large number of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age. But changes in society have also contributed, with more people aged 55 and over today being divorced or separated than 15 years ago; 42% of those aged 55 to 64 who live on their own are divorced. 

Financial implications

Unfortunately, the ONS has found that living alone has financial consequences, with single people spending more on basics, including housing costs (mortgage or rent, energy bills, water and council tax), food and furnishing than two-adult households. Only half of people living on their own said they always or mostly had money left over at the end of the week, compared with nearly two thirds of two-adult households. Single people also reported they find it harder to build up savings, with more than a third saying they wouldn’t be able to make ends meet for more than a month, compared with only 14% of couples.

The flip-side of this is also true: the ONS found that people living on their own spend less on recreation and transport than those living with another adult – in other words, they get to have less fun. 

How equity release could help 

If you’re struggling to pay regular bills, the figures show that you’re not alone – and you’re even more likely to be in this position if you live by yourself. But releasing equity from your home through an equity release scheme could be a viable solution to help you live more comfortably in retirement. In fact, one in ten people who take out an over 55 equity release scheme do so to help pay regular bills*. 

If you live on your own and find you don’t have much money left over at the end of the week, we’d be delighted to help you review your finances to explore whether equity release could help ease your financial situation. But if we don’t think it’s the right solution for you, we’ll tell you so. 

*Source: UK Equity Release MARKET Monitor, Q1 2017

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