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2011 pensioners will have debts

Just over a fifth of those planning to retire during 2011 will still have debts to pay off, according to a study.

Research Plus revealed that around 21 per cent of people planning to retire this year owe an average of £33,100, while 14 per cent said they were unsure whether their debt would be cleared by the time they retire.

While most people hitting retirement age will have debts around the £30,000 mark, 5 per cent will owe more than £50,000.

Most of the debt is likely to be on credit cards (55 per cent) and 52 per cent of respondents said they are likely to still be paying their mortgage after they retire.

Meanwhile, 19 per cent said their personal loan is unlikely to have been repaid when they stop work and 14 per cent are not sure if they will clear their overdraft.

The situation leaves people financially vulnerable, as they will continue to have significant monthly commitments at a time when their income is likely to have reduced.

Men are more likely still to have debts when they retire than women, at 23%, compared with 18% of women, while they are also likely to owe more, at an average of £39,500 compared with women's £25,100.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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