Fifty percent of Seniors worse off financially
50% of Seniors worse off financially, says research.
Over 50% of Seniors say they are worse off financially than 12 months ago, with 52% stating financial security is their biggest retirement concern.
Leading home equity release company Sentinel, together with 50+ community website www.grownups.co.nz, conducted the second of their annual Financial Wellbeing Questionnaires recently, and the results showed a marked change in response from the previous year.
“55% of all respondents said their financial situation had deteriorated in the past 12 months, with 18% saying they are now significantly worse off,” says Sentinel Marketing Director Linda Taylor. “This has increased markedly from 40% of respondents 12 months ago.”
Only 16% of respondents said they had seen any improvement in their finances, compared with 39% during the 2008 survey.
While superannuation has remained static, many Seniors supplement their income with investments and bank deposits – returns from which have fallen significantly over the past year.
“Falling interest rates are generally viewed positively, however if you need the interest from your investments to meet your expenses, this can be a worrying time,” says Mrs Taylor. “Our research showed that the main retirement concern has changed over the past year – last year more people were concerned about their health; this year, financial security is the main worry.”
However Seniors are still reluctant to ask family for help. “Less than 5% of respondents would go to their family,” says Mrs Taylor. “This is consistent with our 2008 results, with most respondents choosing to release the equity from their home; either through selling and downsizing, or using a product such as an equity release loan.”