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More than four million over 65s will live alone by 2020 – Equity Release Council

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  • 22/10/2019
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More than four million over 65s will live alone by 2020 – Equity Release Council
More than four million over 65s are expected to be living alone by 2020, according to analysis by the Equity Release Council.

 

Increasing rates of life expectancy and couples divorcing later in life is believed to be behind the rise of single over-65s, said the report.

By 2022, the over-65s will make up half of single-person households.

In the last decade, the number of over-65s living alone in the UK has risen by 15 per cent from 3.4 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2018. As a result, the percentage of single-person UK households that are aged 65 plus has increased from 45 per cent to 48 per cent over the same period.

According to the council, while the loss of a partner will account for a substantial proportion of these single person-households, the growing number of over-65s living alone may also be attributed to the rise in divorce among couples in later life.

Since 1999, the average age of divorce has increased by 5.5 years for men and women to 46 years old and 44 years old respectively.

 

More individual plans bought

With more over-65s living alone, the council has seen an increase in the number of single equity release plans being taken out by customers to help meet their later life financial goals.

The council’s autumn 2019 Market Report showed that single plans accounted for 41 per cent of new drawdown plans agreed and 45 per cent of new lump sum plans. The remainder were taken out by joint borrowers.

Chris Knight, chief executive, Legal & General Retail Retirement, said: “Later life isn’t just about kicking-back or enjoying new life experiences. A growing number of people also face the challenge of achieving financial security in their later years, perhaps following a divorce or simply because they live alone.

“Unlocking housing equity could benefit these retirees just as much as those who are planning a home renovation, or who want to help their loved ones buy a property. A lifetime mortgage could help them to cover day-to-day costs in retirement, support their pension income and ultimately improve their financial security.”

Almost £4bn in equity release plans were advanced in 2018.

 

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