Research by Aviva found that of the 2,000 people surveyed in April, two thirds (67%) reported having some form of debt that is weighing them down. Meanwhile, nearly half (48%) of over-55s asked said that they still have “some sort” of debt, despite getting closer to retirement age.
The proportion of those who feel that their debt situation has spiralled out of control rises to nearly a fifth (18%) in 45 to 54-year-olds. Worryingly, nearly one in 10 people who took part in the survey (9%) admitted that they “haven’t got a clue” how much they currently owe in outstanding debts, with this number rising to 16% in people aged 45 and over.
Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva, said, “Interest rates have risen to levels we haven’t seen since 2008 – and are expected to rise further. The cost of debt is now centre stage, and millions may be having to rethink their retirement plans.
“Starting to think and plan further ahead as early as possible is a small step that can make a big difference in the long term,” he added.
“Individuals can take some positive actions to reduce their debt before entering retirement, such as consolidating their debt, paying off high-interest loans or switching to a cheaper rate, alongside reducing unnecessary expenses or taking out a debt management plan.
“Also, if appropriate, people could work with a financial adviser to create a full retirement plan that takes their debt into account and ensures that they have enough income to cover their expenses and enjoy their retirement years.”