Cash-strapped retirees more likely to release equity

Robyn Hall

October 22, 2012

Just Retirement’s study of consumer attitudes towards housing equity withdrawal showed that older retirees were more likely to believe in a duty to leave something to the next generation.

Those coming up to retirement or who have recently retired, on the other hand, felt that passing on the home would be nice to do, but was not essential.

Stephen Lowe, group director of external affairs and customer insight at Just Retirement, said older retirees felt they had worked hard to own their own home and are therefore more likely to want to pass it on, but younger retirees had different priorities.

He said: “The priority for those in the run-up to retirement is how to generate sufficient income to maintain an acceptable standard of living. Faced with depressed pension returns, inheritance becomes far less important.

“But it is not completely selfish. There was a sense they had done enough for their children and that the children were often in a better financial position than they were. Certainly the adult children we interviewed agreed with this approach and did not want their parents to cut back simply to leave an inheritance.”

There was a high degree of interest in passing on money before death so retirees could enjoy seeing it being used, although only a small number were aware this could be beneficial for inheritance tax purposes.

Overall 55% agreed they would rather give money while still alive while 30% disagreed. This number was higher among the recently retired with 70% agreeing and only 17% disagreeing, none of them strongly.

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