Bank of England: Victoria Scholar discusses interest rates
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As the cost of living crisis bites, pensioners are on the front line. Many live on low fixed incomes, and simply cannot afford higher food and fuel bills. “Inflation is eroding the value of every single pound they get,” said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor.
Those who are still working and saving for retirement often have no idea how much they need to live on after they stop working.
Now the UK Retirement Living Standards survey aims to give people a clear idea of how much income is going to be enough.
To enjoy the minimum retirement living standard in 2021, it calculates that a single person needs £10,900 a year, while a couple needs £16,700.
That will only fund a basic a lot of living but is still notably higher than the new basic State Pension for those who retired after April 2016.
That currently pays just £9,339 a year, which is £1,561 BELOW the minimum survival threshold.
Life is even tougher for those on the old basic State Pension, which pays £137.60 a week to those who retire before April 2016.
That is worth just £7,155 a year, which is an incredible £3,745 less than people need to live on.
If you want a better standard of living in your final years, then you need to build enough pension and other savings to generate a lot more income than that.
The research, carried out by Loughborough University for the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, found that a single person needs £20,800 a year for a moderate retirement living standard, rising to £36,000 for a couple.
Matt Padley, associate director of CRSP, who carried out the research, said this income would cover occasional meals out and a Netflix subscription. “These are now crucial for feeling part of the world around you.”
To enjoy a comfortable retirement, a single person needs income of £33,600 a year, while a couple will need to generate £49,700.
The research was carried out before the recent inflation spike and pensioners will need much more income next year.
Many will fall behind following the Government’s controversial decision to scrap the triple lock, which means pensioners will get a State Pension rise of just 3.1 percent next April.
By then, inflation could be around five or even six percent.
Worse, essentials such as food and household energy costs are rising fastest of all.
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As inflation climbs, pensioners will find it even harder to generate enough income from their pensions and savings, Jason Hollands, managing director of Bestinvest, said.
“The key message is that beating inflation should be a key objective, to protect the spending power of your wealth.”
He added: “Although interest rates are widely expected to rise soon, this will still leave real returns on cash well into the red.”
Hollands warned against leaving too much money in cash for long periods, as its real value will be eaten away by rampant inflation. “If you can tuck money away for the medium to longer term, then stocks and shares are far more attractive.”
He said you can generate income of around 3.3 per cent a year from equities, plus capital growth if stock markets rise, though investment funds such as TB Evenlode Income, Blackrock UK Income and Threadneedle UK Equity Income.
They can all be bought inside your £20,000 Isa allowance, so you can take all your returns free of tax.
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