The cost of living crisis is setting in, and rocketing energy bills are a major occupation for millions, including Britons who are nearing retirement. The Health, Wealth and Happiness Report by LifeSearch showed over 55s are least likely to have financial concerns, however, out of those who do, the most major worry is rising bills.
Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to Mary Folwell, a 63-year-old childcare worker on a low income, after raising five children by herself.
She explained her growing fears about the cost of living, particularly in a single income household.
Ms Folwell said: “It’s worrying to say the least. I’m basically on my own and work four days a week.
“I’m looking to cut back on everything I can now, and I’m much more aware of everything I’m doing – my usage of gas and electricity, and especially the rise in fuel.
Ms Folwell acknowledged the recent global challenges which have put pressure on the economy, but stressed more could be done to help people in her situation.
She said: “We’re coming out of the pandemic, we’ve got a crisis with Russia, we’ve spent a lot of money in the past few years.
“I suppose it just passes on to the consumer, unfortunately, but I do think we need more help – I just don’t know how.
“I haven’t got the £150 council tax rebate yet, it might be filtering in. But it could help.”
Another major worry for older people is retirement, as many are shifting their plans due to changing finances
Ms Folwell continued: “When I reach retirement age, I’m going to continue to work so I have some money coming in.
“I’ll use the state pension as a sort of savings, because I am on my own and need to manage my finances.
“I need to work as long as possible because of the money situation, but thankfully, I really enjoy my job. It wouldn’t be a hardship, but the only thing I’d be concerned about is my age.”
Saving money has potentially been easier for over 55s due to the pandemic, with the study showing this group are the most likely to have put funds aside in the last year.
However, 28 percent of Britons have saved money over the past year – down from 39 percent compared to the last report.
Putting money aside, especially in a cost of living crisis, still presents itself as a challenge.
Ms Folwell added: “I try to put money aside each month, but it isn’t always easy. I privately rent so the majority of my money goes out on that.
“When I shop now, I shop around and I try to look for the most affordable brands. People who I work with are in the same boat, they’re cutting back on going to the cinema with their children or other activities.
“You have to try to do it all at the minute, and I don’t see any other way of making it work.”