Retirees face decades of debt as living costs soar

A FIFTH of UK retirees still have thousands of pounds of mortgage debt while a third owe money on credit cards, a report showed yesterday.

Outstanding mortgage debt among over-55s has also risen by a fifth to more than £65,000 from £54,500 in February 2010, according to Aviva’s latest Real Retirement Report.

The survey painted a picture of retirement-age people too reliant on the state pension and borrowing. Over-75-year-olds now hold an average £3,370 in credit card debt, while just 42 per cent of those retiring have a private pension provision.

“While mortgage borrowing generally falls as people age, this does not appear to be the case with credit cards,” the report said.

“In an ideal world people would start the count-down to retirement without debt, but for many people this has not been possible due to economic realities, poor ļ¬nancial decisions or family obligations,” said Aviva director Clive Bolton.

Most blamed the rising cost of living for their debt, and almost a third said they would cut back on luxuries to pay it back. But eight per cent were looking to return to work and six per cent to sell their house to pay it off.