More than 1.5 million over 50s consider skipping meals to keep up with cost-of-living crisis

Posted in: Corporate

  • More than 1.5 million over 50s in the UK have or would consider skipping meals to keep on top of the cost-of-living crisis
  • Average monthly household spending increased by £228 over the last year
  • More than half (55%) of over 50s are worried about paying their bills each month
  • Over 50s have been considering different ways to reduce monthly outgoings, such as switching off lights (54%), turning the heating down (54%) and cutting back on food costs (31%)
  • Almost a quarter of over 50s (24%) would, or already have, used equity release to unlock cash held in their property

More than 1.5 million people over 50 in the UK would consider skipping meals in a bid to keep up with rising prices, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to affect people across the country.

Seven percent of the 2,000 over 50-year-olds interviewed in a survey by Opinium on behalf of financial services company OneFamily said they would consider, or already have, skipped meals to keep on top of their monthly outgoings. This equates to approximately 1.5 million over 50s across the country*.

People who took part in the survey also said their monthly outgoings have increased by an average of £228 over the last 12 months.

With more than half (55%) worried about paying their bills each month, over 50s have been finding different ways to keep on top of their finances. This includes changes to everyday habits, such as switching off lights (54%), turning the heating down (54%) and cutting back on food costs (31%).

Others said they would turn to financial services to help them free up some cash.

Almost a quarter of people (24%) said they have or would think about releasing equity on their home to unlock money held in their property.

Of those who said they had or would consider a lifetime mortgage, more than half (54%) said it was to release cash flow, at a time when many people’s savings have been depleted. Meanwhile, 32% said that by switching their mortgage over to equity release it took away the worry of their mortgage payments rising.

Matthew Ellis, Sales and Marketing Director at OneFamily, said, “Many of us are feeling the crunch of the cost-of-living crisis, but it’s incredibly concerning that so many people are being forced to consider skipping meals. At OneFamily, we want to make sure everyone has access to financial knowledge and support that can help make their lives better, regardless of their background and financial situation.

“Lifetime mortgages aren’t right for everyone, but in some circumstances releasing equity can be a good way to help free up some cash which is held within a property. An example of this could be moving a mortgage over to equity release to reduce monthly outgoings. Instead of having to make mortgage payments each month, a person could be free from having to make mortgage payments – or alternatively they could pay a smaller amount each month just to cover the interest element if that’s what they want to do.

“Alternatively, equity release can be used to free up cash for bigger costs such as property maintenance or a new car if rainy-day savings have been eaten into thanks to the cost-of-living crisis. For those considering equity release, speaking to a specialist adviser such as OneFamily Advice should always be the first step in understanding whether it can help with managing long-term finances.”


Notes to Editors

Unless otherwise stated, all research conducted by Opinium, on behalf of OneFamily, between 17 February – 21 February 2023, among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults aged over 50.

*In the survey of 2,000 over 50s, 7% said they skipped meals. According to recent ONS data, there are 22,671,417 over 50s in the UK. This equates to 1,586,999 who have or would consider skipping meals (7%).

Equity release provides the option to pay monthly interest on the money you’ve borrowed. For example, if you were to release a lump sum of £50,000 equity from your home at a rate of 5%, you would have the option to pay the equivalent monthly interest of £208 each month.

About OneFamily

OneFamily is a member-owned financial services company that offers lifetime ISAs, lifetime mortgages, junior ISAs, child trust funds, bonds and over 50s life cover.

We have over 45 years’ experience of being a trusted provider of financial solutions, with nearly 2 million customers and over £5.5 billion in funds under management at the end of 2022.

We are the UK’s biggest child trust fund provider, holding over 25% of the market.

Supporting our members and their communities

At OneFamily, we’re owned by our members for our members – and doing right by them is at the heart of our business.

We don’t have shareholders to pay dividends to, so we reinvest our profits to provide quality products and services for the benefit of our members.

We think that financial products should be accessible to everyone regardless of how much money they have to invest. That’s why our products have low investment levels and minimum contributions, giving more people the opportunity to save regardless of their circumstances.

Inspiring Better Futures

Our Inspiring Better Futures vision underpins our commitment to doing the right thing at every level for our members and customers, colleagues and communities.

The Inspiring Better Futures vision is built on 3 pillars – Members and customers, colleagues and communities.

Our focus is on long-term sustainability, so we can continue to be relevant and impactful to our members and communities.

Access to education and training

The costs of further education and training can be a barrier to many young people and their families. This is why we offer OneFamily customers the opportunity to apply for a Young Person’s Education Grant of up to £250 – for someone aged 15-19 – to help meet these costs, when they would otherwise struggle without financial assistance. The grant can be used towards study materials, specialist uniform, travel costs or a laptop/tablet.

Applications are open throughout the year, and grants are awarded following a random computerised draw.

We’ve improved the lives of over 3,400 people through our individual grants since 2015.

Charity partnerships

Supporting our communities has been a key focus of ours for many years. We’ve established partnerships with local and national charities that champion access to education and improving life chances for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

For more information on how we support our members and communities see:
Educational grants
Charity partnerships