A recent report by The Guardian has highlighted the growing financial pressures being experienced by older people as the impact from the rising cost of living starts to take its toll. Some seniors have said the will not put heating on this winter and were afraid to use the oven or their gas hob.
It is estimated that over two million older households will have to increase the percentage of their net income spent on essential goods and services from 67% in 2021-22 to 79% in 2022-23 due to higher costs of living.
Some older people are reporting that there is little money left over once bills are paid and that they will not be able to afford food for the month. Lucy Kerrigan, 78, a retired solicitor living in Walton on Thames, tells of the difficulties she has been having managing since the death of her husband John:
“I get my monthly state pension and a work pension of about £1,100 and while that may be more than some people have, when bills and outgoings are going over the one thousand pounds a month mark, it leaves very little left for food. I know I will need to ask for help from my daughter this winter and that’s not a nice position for somebody that has worked hard all of their lives to be in.”
Janet, 66, a retired teacher, lives with her husband, John, 65, a retired civil servant. The couple are trying to make energy savings where they can. “We have switched off everything electric except the lights, fridge, freezer, washing machine and TV,” she says. “I’ve gone back to using an old oil-fired Aga that stood in the corner for years because it heats the house and it dries my washing.”
Age UK are reporting that:
Among those aged 70+ who reported an increase in their cost of living, the most common reasons given were rises in the price of food shopping (96%), gas or electricity bills (80%) and in the price of fuel (81%). In response to this, over-70s are:
- spending less on non-essentials (51%)
- cutting back on non-essential journeys in their vehicle (47%)
- using less energy at home (45%)
- shopping around (40%)
- spending less on food shopping and essentials (26%)
- using savings (21%)
Helpful Advice For Older People
Age UK have some invaluable advice about benefits and entitlements for older people.
Citizens Advice has some useful resources for over-65s looking for some support.
You might be on a low income and need extra support to top up your pension. If this is the case, you can visit the pension credit page on the Gov.uk website to see if you’re eligible for pension credit.