Pensioners fall into six categories, from hoarders to spring chickens

20 February 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
There exist six different types of 'oldies', according to research from Newcastle Building Society which has categorised Britain's over 60s into Hoarders, Nest Improvers, Survivors, Work Till You Drop, Live it Up and Spend It, and Children Supporters.

The survey found that the most prevalent are the Hoarders, which make up 24 per cent of the over 60s demographic. They are stuck in their ways and refuse to change anything when they retire, preserving their homes and hanging onto memorabilia and nostalgic relics such as children's toys.

Nest Improvers, accounting for 19 per cent of over 60s, spend most of their pension on improving their home, such as adding a conservatory, gardening, and doing everything they can to make their environment as nice as possible.

An unfortunate 12 per cent of pensioners use all their income up on necessities because they are Survivors, who have just enough to live on but no money for luxuries after paying for food and heating. They scrimp where they can and budget at the supermarket to make ends meet.

Some over 60s refuse to stop working simply because they have retired, with 10 per cent retaining a Work Till You Drop ethic, continuing to have a job, either to supplement their pension pot, or just to keep them active. The jobs they hold include board executives to volunteering in charity shops.

Seven per cent of pensioners see their retirement as an opportunity to do all the things they've always wanted to do but haven't had the time. The Live It Up and Spend It crowd harbours no notion of preserving pensions or spending it on home improvements. They are far too busy going on cruises, pursuing expensive hobbies such as collecting vintage cars or fine art, or eating fine cuisine at expensive restaurants.

A final six per cent of pensioners go without luxury holidays or conservatories because they are preserving their income or pension as much as possible in order to help their children or grandchildren. House deposits are a common use for Children Supporters' income, as are grandchildren's university fees or taking their families on holiday.

Bob Mottershead, of Newcastle Building Society Equity Release Service, commented: "These findings show that you can’t generalise people as ‘over 60’ when clearly different people adopt very different lifestyles in or approaching retirement. However, the results also show that this generation has one thing in common that can make a real difference – access to money.

"It is worrying that the Survivors – 12 per cent of over 60s - are struggling to make ends meet in retirement. However, even more worrying is that this figure increases significantly for those aged 80 plus, 17 per cent of whom find paying for daily necessities is a great effort. For these consumers, and indeed those who are comfortably off and want to use the money tied up in bricks and mortar to live an even fuller life, equity release may well be a feasible option."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd