Over-55s switching suppliers in preparation for retirement

According to a new study from Sainsbury’s Bank, many over-55s have major plans to overhaul their finances in 2016 in a bid to make their money go further.

Research included in The Family Finance Report shows that when it comes to insurance, gas, electricity, TV, phone and broadband suppliers, 75% of over-55s plan to shop around this year to find better deals.

Two-thirds of over-55s with car insurance intend to shop around this year, with 58% determined to shop around for home insurance. However, just 38% plan to switch gas and electricity suppliers and only 34% will shop around for phone, TV or broadband packages.

By planning to switch one or more of these products, respondents expected to reduce the amount they pay by 10%, on average.

When it comes to banking and credit products, the study shows that people aged 55 and over are also trying to reduce the amount of money they pay to borrow money.

Around 355,000 are thinking about switching a personal loan to a better rate of interest, while more than 939,000 plan to switch or consolidate credit card debt and 228,000 are thinking about remortgaging.

This desire to ensure they have the best financial deals has been fuelled by a number of financial concerns among those in this age group, with 22% worried about their cost of living rising, 16% concerned about not achieving a good return on their savings and 8% more concerned about their children’s financial future than their own.

Overall, just 11% of those aged 55 or over feel more confident about their finances in 2016 than they did in 2015, compared with 27% who feel less confident.
Simon Ranson, head of banking at Sainsbury’s Bank, said: “People who are retired or approaching retirement are often very reliant on their savings and investments to generate an income. In the current investment climate, it’s perhaps not surprising that people are reviewing their finances to see if they can save money and get better deals.”