E21: Solo Retirees

Senior singles owning affordable but pleasant homes, whose reduced incomes are satisfactory

Type of Senior Security consisting of 2.54% of households and 1.44% of population

Who We Are

  • Aged 66+
  • Household income less than £15k
  • No children
  • Owned semi-detached house
  • Very low level of household technology

Key Features

  • Retired singles
  • No qualifications
  • Own mid-value semis
  • Low income
  • Water poverty
  • Genealogy sites


Solo Retirees are elderly people who live alone in family homes located in inexpensive suburbs. Many are in their seventies or older and have been living at their address for a long time.

They paid their mortgages off some years ago and now own their homes outright. These are standard-sized houses that are typically semi-detached in style with three bedrooms, the third perhaps quite small. Many of these homes were built in the interwar period or in the 1960s or 70s. Property values are below the national average.

A lifetime of work has provided these residents with modest pensions in addition to the state provision. These extras make a significant difference to their day-to-day financial situation, especially since many have lost their partners’ income. These elders manage their money carefully and have modest savings which allow for additional expenditure when necessary, such as purchasing a car. As they only need to cater for themselves, their grocery spend is low.

They don’t use the internet a great deal and haven’t changed their lifestyle to embrace new technology. Many don’t own a smartphone. They prefer the familiarity of mail order catalogues to find specialist products, and read newspapers and magazines for information.