One in five 'to retire with debts'

31 January 2013

Nearly one in five Britons planning to retire this year will have outstanding debts, amounting to £31,200 on average, an insurer has found.

However, the typical amount of money owed has dropped compared with a year ago as more people retire mortgage-free, Prudential said.

The average amount owed by someone planning to retire last year was almost a fifth higher, at £38,200, while the share of people retiring in debt has held steady compared with 2012, at 18%.

People in Wales planning to retire this year are the most likely to be in debt, with 26% still owing money, while just 13% of those in Yorkshire and Humberside expect to take debts into retirement.

On average, retirees with debts expect it will take just under four years to clear the money they owe - but more than one in 10 (12%) believe they will never be debt-free.

Prudential said that 43% of people retiring in debt this year will owe money on their mortgages, compared with 50% a year ago.

Rock bottom interest rates have helped many mortgage holders pay off their loans more quickly than they had expected and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) estimates that one third of mortgages taken out since 2005 have been overpaid.

However, Prudential said it had seen a shift towards retirees having outstanding non-mortgage debts.

Almost a fifth (19%) of people retiring in debt in 2013 will owe money on overdrafts - showing a sharp increase from 13% last year.

Meanwhile 56% of those who will owe money on retirement this year have credit card debts, creeping up from 51% in 2012.


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