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Insolvency rates for over-65s boom! This is how I’d protect myself in retirement

The financial perils of reaching retirement are climbing at an alarming rate.

The number of Britons living in pensioner poverty has rocketed in recent decades as benefit rises have failed to keep up with the pace at which social care costs have increased. No wonder three-quarters of those reaching retirement age are worried about hitting hard times when they leave work.

Insolvency boom

A report released today by Rest Less illustrates the financial horrors that are facing many UK pensioners. It shows that insolvencies among women aged 65 years and over have jumped 88% in the 10 years to 2018, to 2,082. And for men in the same age group the number had climbed to 2,589 by 2018. This is up 29% in the space of a decade.

Rest Less says that “the wide gulf” in pension savings between the sexes, caused by “40 years of a historical gender pay gap” is behind the insolvency rates among women over 65 worsening more than other age groups. It says women are also more likely to take time out in their 50s and 60s to look after family members, hitting their financial health further.

Rest Less adds that deteriorating job prospects are impacting both groups’ financial health too, saying “the over 55s are more likely to be made redundant” and that they are more likely to “face age discrimination in the recruitment process.

Tough times

Things are becoming increasingly tough for older citizens and are likely to get more difficult because of the rapidly-ageing population. There have even been suggestions that the government should axe the ‘triple lock’ pension increase guarantee and other pensioner benefits.

It’s quite clear that people cannot rely on the government to fully look after them post-retirement. But it’s not all grim. With the right investment strategy, it’s possible to make the sort of money that will help you live a comfortable lifestyle.

Protect yourself!

Share markets, for instance, might be extremely volatile right now. But by taking a long-term approach to investing, it’s possible to make a fortune with equity investing. People all over the world have been making big money from share markets for decades now. With returns of up to 10% per annum, as studies show, it’s perhaps no surprise.

Let’s say that you’re aged over 50 and have £26,000 stashed away in savings (this the average for the 45 to 54 age group, according to Statista). By putting those savings into share markets and investing another £360 per month it is possible, at this rate of return, to have created a generous pension pot above £250,000 should you retire at age 65.

And you don’t need to take crazy risks to make such meaty profits. I for one have built holdings in FTSE 100 royalty Unilever and Diageo, shares with a rich history of delivering annual profits and dividend growth. The brilliant brand power of their industry-leading labels, coupled with their broad geographic footprints, help them grow the bottom line year after year. I’ve bought into housebuilders like Taylor Wimpey because of their big, big near-term dividend yields as well. And I own Prudential owing to its growing influence in fast-rising emerging markets.

But there’s a galaxy of other great shares to help you make big money from British blue-chips. So get busy protecting yourself for retirement!

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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.