Equity release customers twice as likely to be single women than men

Jessica Nangle

January 29, 2020

Nearly double the number of retired single women as men are choosing to generate money through a lifetime mortgage on their homes, according to HUB Financial Solutions. 

Single women accounted for 30% of lifetime mortgage business in the first six months of 2019, compared to 17% of business from single men.

The remaining 54% were joint plans.

Simon Gray, managing director of HUB Financial Solutions, said: “The equity release market is seeing rising business from single people and our specialist advisers helped nearly double the number of single women as single men in the first half of 2019.

“Generally, we see single men and women releasing about the same amount of equity at about the same age – most commonly from 65-74 – from homes that are similar value albeit lower than for properties owned by couples.”

According to government statistics, there are 1.7 million widowed women over the age of 70, nearly triple the 613,000 widowed men.

Additionally, seven in 10 of all those over 70 years of age not living in a couple are women.

Women also typically enter retirement with less pension provision than men which is reflected in the fact that 45% of retirees in the lowest income groups are single women.

This is compared to just 14% of single men with couples making up the remaining 38%.

Gray added: “We believe single women are going to be an increasingly important demographic for advisers as growing numbers seek to supplement their pension income and think about estate planning and helping children via ‘pre-inheritance.’”

“Male life expectancy has been increasing but women continue to live longer so it is more important that they consider insuring against outliving their pension assets.

“With more years to fund and smaller pensions on average, it is arguably more important that single women make robust financial plans and take professional advice, including, where appropriate, how to access the value locked-up in their property that could be released to help them achieve a better later life.”

Sign up to our daily email