Debts outweigh savings of the 50-somethings

Consumers in their 50s have more debt than savings and are worried about meeting bill payments, according to a new study by The Nationwide.

Debts outweigh savings of the 50-somethings

A fifth of consumers surveyed claim to have no savings at all. Even those with savings, had debts (excluding mortgages) of close to £5,000 – outweighing the amounts they had saved.

The most popular credit products used to rack up the debts were credit cards and personal loans, followed by car finance and overdrafts.

The study surveyed 2,000 people in their 50s between March and April this year. It is part of a wider research study being carried out by Nationwide’s financial planning team to help profile UK consumers.

The survey found that besides health worries, the issues this age group finds most concerning is saving money (46 percent) and paying bills (32 percent).

On a more positive note, it found that, excluding mortgages, around six in ten 50-somethings are debt free.

However, the average disposable annual income of those in their 50s is of around £3,600, from an average salary of £19,165. While 41 percent confess to having £1,200 or less.

Although this age range may have just as much debt as savings, the study found 69 percent still aspire to frequently holiday, travel the world and embark on new hobbies despite having the funds to do so.

More than ten percent of those surveyed said they would take money out of their property to do the above, whilst the rest hoped either their pension or remaining savings would cover the costs – and some just didn’t’ know how they would pay for such activities.

Larry Banda, Nationwide’s director of financial planning, said: “Our research reveals a mixed bag of experiences. While money tends to be tight for the average fifty-something, with debt narrowly outweighing savings, they are an aspirational group, intent on enjoying the good times.

“With around half of those in their fifties either renting or still paying off their mortgage, it could prove the difference between going on that fantastic holiday of a lifetime or staying in windowsill bay.”