‘Exposed’ pensioners forced to ‘unretire’ to boost income as costs soar

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A new study has found nearly one in 10 of those asked have now enacted a return to work after retiring from their roles. The research from Paragon asked 1,200 over-55s about retirement plans, and how to cope with the rising cost of living. 

It demonstrates older people, in growing numbers, are leaning into a phenomena now dubbed the ‘Great Unretirement’, with many abandoning retirement plans due to lack of affordability. 

The cost of living crisis is clearly placing additional strain on many, both older and younger.

However, for those with a particularly limited income – which is often the case in retirement – these challenges can be more palpably felt.

Consequently, a further five percent of individuals said they were considering returning to the workforce.

Over 55s are looking for ways to increase their income to provide an additional financial cushion.

Some 16 percent of those asked said they were selling shares or other investments, while 12 percent said they would take money from their pension.

Meanwhile, four percent said they were considering releasing equity from their property – a move which is not right for everyone, and needs advice.

Many also communicated they were feeling the squeeze when it comes to their energy bills.

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With more than half paying more for food in their weekly shop, and 40 percent paying more for heating and electricity, it could be a tough winter ahead.

Regardless, some 40 percent said they are still taking steps to support their family members financially.

Providing support to children and grandchildren was fairly common, and likely amongst pensioners aged 70 to 74.

Derek Sprawling, Savings Director at Paragon Bank, discussed the growing trend of retired Britons who are making this life-changing decision.

He said: “Retirees are exposed to cost of living increases as it is challenging for them to increase their income.

“This is driving some people back into the workforce as they look for additional cash to supplement their pensions or investment income.

“At the same time, our research also shows those retirees who can are supporting family members feeling the squeeze.”

Mr Sprawling stated it can often be difficult for older people, especially given low rates on savings within the last two years.

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However, with the situation seemingly improving somewhat for those who put their cash away, the expert said it is vital to take action.

He continued: “With challenges for themselves, or to support their family, it’s more important than ever to maximise the returns from savings and for savers to be proactive. 

“Rates offered by smaller and mid-tier banks have been increasing in recent month.

“But many rates offered by the high street providers have remained stubbornly low. 

“Savers with fixed levels of income need to act to ensure they are maximising their money.”

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