Living costs for pensioners in South East exceed UK average

The average living costs for pensioners in the South East exceed the average state pension, a study shows
The average living costs for pensioners in the South East exceed the average state pension, a study shows

The cost of living for pensioners in the South East is above the annual UK average, according to new research by a financial planning company.

According to research by Key Retirement, the average cost of being a pensioner in the region is £12,570, well above the country’s average of £10, 830 and second highest after London.

This total provides around £241 a week, considerably more than the weekly £159.55 an average pensioner receives.

Dean Mirfin, the company’s technical director, said: “The findings demonstrate the importance of saving for retirement and generating income on top of State Pensions.

“Over-65s own property worth more than £1 trillion and are literally sitting on spare cash which can be used tax-free to boost their income, particularly when inflation is rising and interest rates remain at historic lows.”

According to Key Retirement’s research, the average weekly spend of £210 on basics such as food, clothes and bills is nearly 32 per cent more than the full new State Pension of £159.55 a week available for those who qualify.

The report says an average retired household spends around 14 per cent of their cash on housing and fuel – which equates to around £1,500 a year.

Transport including the cost of running a car eats up 11 per cent of their annual spending - around £1,200 a year.

Any spare cash is used for entertainment and eating out with around £1,600 a year of pensioner’s budget going on leisure spending, Key Retirement’s figures show.

Key Retirement underlines the need for pensioners to maximise income from all sources available including property, with anyone relying on the State Pension facing significant shortfalls.

The data shows retired homeowners using equity release plans take an average £73,600 from their homes – enough to fund more than six years of basic spending.