Anchor finds ageing population sparks money worries across the generations

A lack of money in old age is the biggest fear for more than one in five of the general public*, according to new research published by Anchor today.

A total of 21 per cent of adults most fear not having enough money to retire, pay for their care or keep their home when they get older. Only a loss of independence (26 per cent) and having dementia (23 per cent) were rated as bigger concerns about getting older. 

Not having enough money in old age is the top worry for those currently aged 45 to 54, with almost one in three (31 per cent) citing money worries as their biggest fear.

Despite these fears of financial woe, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents are still banking on finishing work at the age of 65, and 29 per cent are looking forward to trips abroad.

Many of those questioned might be heading for a bleak future if they do not address key financial issues now.  The number of people aged over 65 living in the UK has passed 10 million for the first time** and at the moment, half of those aged 65 can expect to pay care bills of up to £20,000 and one in 10 are expected to pay costs exceeding £100,000***. 

It has been reported that the Coalition is poised to announce a cap on individual contributions to adult social care, although any cap is unlikely to be brought into place before 2015. Anchor is calling for a cap to be implemented swiftly and for better education to help younger generations prepare financially for older age.

Jane Ashcroft, Anchor’s Chief Executive, said: “Previous Anchor research shows that nearly one in four are unaware that social care is means-tested – meaning that the financial burden facing people in old age is, if anything, even greater than they think.

“We still lack one person in Cabinet to be responsible for looking at older people’s needs across the board, preparing for issues that are faced by older people today, as well as future generations. We urgently need a more joined-up approach to dealing with demographic change.” 

Sadly, 24 per cent of people said they are not looking forward to anything about getting older. However, over half (54 per cent) say they are looking forward to more freedom, a fifth (20 per cent) are planning on using their spare time to help their families, and 12 per cent are hoping to volunteer or give something back to society.

A year ago, as part of Anchor’s Grey Pride campaign, a petition was handed to Number 10 with 137,000 signatures calling for a Minister for Older People to be appointed in Government to ensure a joined-up approach to planning for demographic change. To mark the anniversary, Anchor is once again urging the Government to help improve prospects for our ageing population.

*When asked what they fear about getting older, 12 per cent most fear not having enough money to retire when they want to.  Six per cent most fear not having enough money to keep their home. Three per cent most fear not having enough money to pay for their care

** Figures taken from the 2011 census

***Figures taken from Andrew Dilnot’s Fairer Care Funding report

When listing all their fears about getting older (not just the biggest fear), 27 per cent of all adults surveyed said they feared not having enough money to retire when they want to, 26 per cent fear not having enough money to keep their home and 22 per cent fear not having enough money to pay for their care.

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