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ERC spotlights rising need for intergenerational and multi-product later life advice

  • 18/08/2021
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ERC spotlights rising need for intergenerational and multi-product later life advice
Broker firms will need to offer multi-product advice covering pension and property assets as well as cross-referring between later life products in the future, today’s report from the Equity Release Council has said.


The study, ‘Home advantage: intergenerational perspectives on property wealth in later life’, which grouped results by generation, also suggested that inter-generational advice would become a bigger demand in the future.

Of 10 socio-economic trends the ERC identified as having reshaped the mortgage and pensions landscape over 30 years, half affected homeownership.

They included delays to purchasing for first-time buyers owing to rising house price-to-income ratios. 

The ERC pinned blame on the Mortgage Market Review and other regulatory changes for having made first-time buyers’ lives harder, while acknowledging rules around later life borrowing had eased.

Some 48 per cent of 30 to 39-year- olds said deposit requirements delayed their house purchase and 37 per cent were held up by affordability requirements. For people age 60 to 69, those same factors respectively slowed 15 per cent and 10 per cent from climbing onto the housing ladder.

However, greater flexibility had not altogether simplified things for later life borrowers. Of the age sixty-something respondents, 31 per cent were confused about what later life mortgages were available. Some 61 per cent were unclear on the difference between lifetime and retirement mortgages and 12 per cent thought there was no difference. 

Commenting within the report, Matt Stirland, head of equity release at advisors Age Partnership, said: “One of the big challenges facing advisers is lack of awareness of lifetime mortgages. Preconceived ideas of equity release can be a barrier for entry. Investing in marketing will help in the short-term, but continuing product development will be crucial to the long-term success of the market.”

“As people require their pensions to work much harder, holistic advice, combining a blend of pension and property assets is likely to become more commonplace. Advisers need the skills to cross-refer between later life finance options.

“Advisory firms should have the teams in place to facilitate this multi-product advice.

“Assets are likely to be trapped with elder generations . . . with people in their thirties still struggling to get on the property ladder, intergenerational advice will be key in the future,” Stirland added.

Other factors affecting homeownership included the long period of low interest rates, which was seen as having improved the cost of accumulating property equity through standard mortgage repayments (while depleting pension assets). 

As well, a trend for longer mortgage terms and a gradually rising acceptance of debt in later life were explored. 

On the pensions side, the five big trends found to be influencing outcomes were the end of jobs for life, the price of retirement income security, the handover of retirement funding responsibility, the legacy of pension freedoms and the ageing population.

Homeowners over £300,000 better off than long-term renters – 18/08/2021

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