‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly: Generous Pensioners Plan To Spend £4.2 Billion Entertaining This Christmas

  • 5.8 million pensioners will host their friends and families on Christmas Day
  • Average retiree expects to spend nearly £400 on Christmas gifts and entertaining guests

Many people will be rockin’ around the Christmas tree with the 5.8 million pensioners (53 per cent) who will host friends and families at home on Christmas Day this year, according to new research from Prudential.

Pensioners are getting into the festive spirit as they plan to spend a total of £4.2 billion on gifts and entertaining this Christmas. The average pensioner spend is estimated at nearly £400 per pensioner with  £140 going on entertaining and the remaining  £250  being spent on gifts. Two in five pensioners (38%) will push the boat out even further spending more than £300 on Christmas presents for their friends and families.

More than two in five (41 per cent) pensioners say Christmas is when they spend the most time with their families. The majority of pensioners will be welcoming family and friends – with 43 per cent hosting their children, 29per cent entertaining their grandchildren and 10 per cent seeing their extended families on Christmas Day. A further 10 per cent will welcome friends on the day.

Six in 10 (60 per cent) of their guests will be visiting just for the day but five per cent of those surveyed are expecting guests to stay for at least a week, including two per cent who will be playing host for at least a fortnight.

While almost six in ten (59 per cent) pensioners enjoy hosting Christmas celebrations for their loved ones, they exercise sufficient restraint to ensure that their festive spending is kept in check. A sensible 45 per cent say they budget in advance, while 19 per cent have cut down their spending in recent years.

However, 34 per cent of those surveyed admit they find Christmas spending a financial burden – 30 per cent have concerns that the costs are increasing every year, and four per cent are already dreading the bills they will receive in January.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “Christmas is traditionally a time for friends and families and it’s great to see that a majority of the over-65s are spending time with their loved ones during the festive holiday period.

“Hosting Christmas Day celebrations is no mean feat at the best of times, let alone when you are a pensioner. While many people love spoiling their friends and families during the festive season, it is particularly important for pensioners to plan their Christmas spending carefully to ensure that they don’t overspend, only to leave themselves too short to enjoy their retirement to the full in 2015.”

The research shows 27 per cent of over-65s won’t be hosting anyone over the Christmas period while 20 per cent admit entertaining at Christmas is becoming a struggle as they get older.