Woman, 52, has no savings or a house – what to do for retirement

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Many people approaching retirement may find themselves in the same boat, with no formal arrangements in place. Some may have struggled throughout their entire lives, while others may have drained resources due to recent financial challenges.

This is the case for Sacha Taylor-Cox, a 52-year-old PR director who once had the hopes of purchasing a home.

Instead, she has been a lifelong renter, currently living in a two-bedroom cottage in the Cotswolds.

She told The Times that she wished she had managed her finances better to save for a deposit.

A self-confessed “party girl” in the 1990s, Sacha jetsetted around the world, and didn’t want to be tied down with responsibilities. 

READ MORE: State pensioner homeowners may be missing out on £1,220 extra income

Some providers will lend money up to the age of 75 or 80, which could help individuals lengthen their term and thus lighten their repayments.

Pete Mugleston, Managing Director at Mortgage Advisor, said securing a mortgage as a single person is more common than people think.

He also recommended a joint borrower, sole proprietor arrangement where a family member could help another family member out with mortgage eligibility and payments.

Mr Mugleston added this option can be a good option for first time buyers, but that it can also help individuals protect assets and offer useful tax benefits.

However, for those who have decided that a property is out of their reach, navigating goals towards retirement may be a better option.

The Government-backed savings website MoneyHelper has warned those who do not have a pension have three choices:

  • Retiring later
  • Start saving more
  • Lowering expectations of what one will be able to afford in retirement

Those planning for retirement by using a pension can benefit from key advantages, according to the website.

For example, tax relief can help Britons to build up a pension at a quicker speed.

As an earner of £50,000, Ms Taylor-Cox could get basic rate tax relief of 20 percent.

Even those who do not earn enough to pay tax can still make contributions up to £2,880 – with tax relief making them up £3,600.

Understanding a state pension entitlement may also be key to creating a securer later life.

Lindsay Hallford, financial adviser at The Private Office, told The Times: “If there are any gaps in her National Insurance record, she may be able to make voluntary contributions to increase her entitlement.

“She can also check online what age she will get her state pension.”

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