In this week’s news round-up we cover the following stories: Living costs for pensioners in South East exceed UK average reported by the Sussex Express. Health chiefs urge elderly get their Flu vaccine as early as possible, reported in The Gazette and finally the story reported in The Guardian that states ‘Half of UK adults are financially vulnerable’.
Pensioners Living Costs Exceed UK Average
A report featured in the Sussex Express has said that pensioners living in the South East are paying living costs that are above the UK average.
The research by the Financial Planning Company (FPC) has found that the average cost of being a pensioner in the region is £12,570, well above the country’s average of £10,830 and second highest after London. This total provides around £241 a week, considerably more than the weekly £159.55 an average pensioner receives.
This article, alongside research by the FPC, highlights how important it is to save for retirement. With living costs continually fluctuating it’s vital to plan ahead to make sure you have a substantial amount to live off by the time you reach retirement age.
Key Retirement has underlined that in light of this research pensioners need to maximize income from all available sources. So for instance those who are struggling to pay bills such as electricity, gas and food, should look at whether they are sitting on a property that has a big value, and consider equity release or even moving to a small home in order to fund future living costs.
Those relying on the State Pension from the Government often face shortfalls so again need to look at ways of maximizing income. The article states that:
Retired homeowners using equity release plans take an average £73,600 from their homes – enough to fund more than six years of basic spending.
Other simpler ways to make up shortfalls is to look at spending. Is an excessive amount being spent on entertainment, or going on holidays? Can food shops be budgeted better, and also considering using compare marketplaces to find the best deals on gas and electricity suppliers. Some pensioners are forced to give up their cars and use public transport to save on insurance costs.
We recently wrote a three-part series on discounts the elderly can get – although only small money savings, every little helps when pensioners feel stretched sometimes.
Get Your Flu Vaccine Early!
The second story we wish to highlight this week, is one that featured in The Gazette. It was titled ‘Elderly urged to get flu vaccine early’. The story covers the importance of getting the Flu vaccine and, more importantly, highlighted that a plea has been put out telling the elderly to get vaccinated as early as possible.
In the article Dr Gregor Smith, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, said:
Over the last five years, some 500 deaths have occurred each winter which can be attributable or related to flu. The news that the southern hemisphere has experienced its worst flu outbreak in years is a timely reminder that everyone at risk should help protect themselves against flu by taking up the offer of the vaccine.
Getting vaccinated early ensures you’re ready to take on the colder months. Those who suffer from illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and asthma are particularly urged to get the vaccine as soon as they can to ensure they don’t suffer from more complications if they were to get the flu.
Our handy winter tips blog might be useful to read for those who are worried about the likes of flu and other health issues that can easily be picked up during the colder months. If you are elderly, frail or know of someone who might need help at home when their stuck inside during the winter a Careline Alarm might be worth investing in.
Useful for those who suffer from any health conditions, or prone to falls, our alarms act as an emergency system that gets help at the push of a button.
‘Half of UK adults are financially vulnerable’.
The final story of interest from the week is reported in The Guardian. The story stated that half of the UK population are financially vulnerable, expressing that, ‘one in six people unable to cope with a £50 increase in monthly bills, according to a survey of Britain’s personal finances.’
This is a worrying statistic, and even more so is the fact that 4.1 million people are already in financial difficulty in the UK. Linking closely to the first story we highlighted in this blog, it shows how much the nation is struggling with increasing living costs and it seems we are almost always one pay cheque away from losing everything.
The findings come from research conducted by The FCA where 13,000 consumers where surveyed. The results were as follows:
- 50% of adults (25.6 million people) “display one or more characteristics that signal their potential vulnerability”.
- Just under 8 million are over-indebted.
- 4.5 million adults have been turned down for a financial product in the last two years.
- One in six (17%) would struggle if their monthly mortgage or rent increased by less than £50.
These worrying statistics bring individuals financial situations in the UK to light and brings concern among many financial and policymakers.