New research shows those in control of their finances feel generally calmer, happier and less worried – yet two million over-65s have no one they feel comfortable talking to about money. New research for Age UK shows the importance of older people feeling on top of their finances, with a third (33 per cent) of those aged 65+ saying they feel generally calmer and happier as a result of feeling in control and a third (34 per cent) admitting they worry less. However, in contrast, the Charity reveals one in six over-65s (two million have no-one to talk to about money issues.
The new findings aim to get more people talking about money, demonstrate a link between money worries and mental wellbeing. And although the vast majority of over-65s surveyed feel in control of their day-to-day finances, more than one in six (17%) are just getting by or finding it difficult to manage on their weekly income, rising to more than one in four (23%) for single over-65s.
In fact a much higher number of those who are on their own because they are single, widowed, separated or divorced, reported having nobody to talk to about money issues – 31 per cent of single older people and 21 per cent of widowed, divorced or separated, compared to just seven per cent of those who are married or living with a partner, and 16 per cent of all older people on average.
Worryingly, 14% of the over-65s surveyed said they are more worried about their financial situation than this time last year, with one in 12 saying they would find it difficult to pay for an unexpected bill of £200 to replace an essential item such as washing machine or cooker.
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director, said: “Being in control of your finances, regardless of how much money you have, is clearly a key component of good mental health and can make a big difference to how we feel about life generally. At Age UK we believe that each and every older person should have enough money to live without having to struggle and participate fully in society. Without that, it’s easy to see how people can feel unhappy, anxious and less connected to the outside world.”
“It’s important to talk about these things, especially as we know that there many older people who aren’t receiving the help and support they are entitled to. That’s why we’re urging anyone who is struggling financially or is worried about a friend or relative, to get in touch with us for help and advice on how to get on top of their finances and feel more in control.”