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‘Losing home is biggest fear in old age’

Half of people are seriously concerned that they could lose their home in old age, according to a global study by HSBC.

The survey found that people’s fear of losing their home (cited by 49 per cent of respondents) is an even greater concern than outliving their spouse (36 per cent) or even dying (30 per cent).

The Future of Retirement report warns that current levels of financial preparation for retirement are poor in the UK. Only 22 per cent of peo- ple approaching retirement have talked to an IFA and only 15 per cent to their bank.

HSBC says elderly people are increasingly expecting to live with their children, which could have a major impact on the UK housing market.

Across all age groups, an average of 9 per cent of people expect to move in with their children in later life although this figure rises to 15 per cent for 30 to 39-year-olds. But 56 per cent are concerned about being a burden to their children in old age and only 4 per cent believe that families should bear the cost of their parents’ retirement.

The research, which involved 966 British people over 18, found that consumers value independence and self-reliance but have a strong opposition to mandatory retirement.

However, lack of forward planning in later life could threaten this, says HSBC group head, retirement businesses, Steve Troop.

He says: “Retirement is seen by the majority as an opportunity for a new chapter in life but our research found that preparation is key. People need to make sure that they plan ahead to live the way they want to in their later years. Unless people think about their long-term needs, we will begin to see a vicious circle of generations that are financially dependant on family members during retirement.”

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