Most retired homeowners ignore equity release

Nia Williams

February 10, 2011

The latest research from Age UK Enterprises, the commercial services arm of charity Age UK, reveals that 66% of those aged 60 and over own their homes outright yet of these just over a third (34%) of all those aged 60-plus have only the state pension as their main source of income.

For some of those who are asset rich and cash poor, an equity release plan could provide an additional income which could help make their retirement more comfortable – yet over 91% of homeowners aged 60-plus say that they would not consider the option.

In the last year, over one in 20 (7%) of 60-plus respondents had tried or considered ways of generating additional money to live on with around a third (37%) of these having gained work – with, specifically, around 1 in 8 (13%) taking on freelance work such as gardening or being a handyman.

Whilst not suitable for all, equity release could provide a useful source of income for some. Research found that of those homeowners in later life who would not consider releasing income from their home, 27% want to leave their property to a relative. A further 25% don’t think equity release is appropriate for them while 17% did not trust equity release products.

Commenting, Gordon Morris, managing director of Age UK Enterprises said: “Many people reach retirement and realise that the state pension will not provide the comfortable lifestyle that they had hoped for. During their working lives, they will have worked hard to pay off a mortgage and it may be that when they retire, their home can be used to supplement a meagre pension.”

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