Simon Read: Older people struggling to stay financially afloat

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The Independent Online

I feel saddened to report that more older people than ever are forced to seek help with their finances.

Age UK said this week it has seen a 42 per cent increase over a year in calls to its specialist advice team for help with financial difficulties.

The charity said it received 63,000 enquiries to its advice line on money matters in 2012/13. Of these, 5,287 calls were about pensions and benefits, compared to just 3,737 over the same period in 2011/12.

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK's charity director, said: "The increase in calls to our advice line throws a spotlight on the high numbers of older people who are worried about mounting living costs and are struggling to stay afloat.

"Rising energy bills, low returns on savings, as well as cuts to public transport and social-care services, have stretched poorer and middle-income pensioners' budgets to breaking point. Sadly, we know that many don't have the funds to meet all their needs and are simply going without, putting their physical and mental health at risk."

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