Not only are modern medical advances enabling us to live longer, but they are also allowing us to live a better quality of life as we age. According to the Office of National Statistics, the UK population was the oldest it had ever been, in mid-2014. Increased health and wellbeing in older age mean that not only is the age of retirement gradually rising in the UK, but many people of retirement age need to continue working to fund their living expenses, or may choose to remain actively employed because they are able to do so.
The aging population has led to increased demand for mortgages for over 60s, since there are many reasons why older borrowers would choose to, or need to continue paying a mortgage. Many people who expected to retire at 60, are now working for longer, either because of their financial needs, since the state retirement age has increased, or because work is a meaningful pursuit and there is no reason to stop. Administrative or managerial roles in particular are often physically undemanding, making it feasible for many over 60s to continue to work for as long as they can. Often, older borrowers looking to secure an over 60s mortgage, will have a state pension and possibly private pension income, all of which may help service a mortgage.
Older borrowers are more likely to be longer term home owners, so increases in property prices may have resulted in there being a substantial amount of equity in their home. In contrast, whilst longevity is a positive outcome because of modern advances, the socio-economic implications are that older borrowers are now more likely to consider mortgages for over 60s.
Whereas people in their thirties may previously have expected to receive an inheritance to assist with buying their own home and/or funding school fees, now that their parents are living much longer and need funds to maintain their own lifestyle, younger borrowers are finding it harder to save a deposit for a home of their own. For over mortgage borrowers over 60 with adult children who are struggling to get onto the property ladder alone, the ability to release some capital from a family home may provide a way to help secure a first time buyer mortgage, through gifting a deposit to their children which makes a purchase feasible.
Over 60s may also have access to lump sums from a pension fund, which they may choose to invest in buy to let property, by obtaining an over 60s buy to let mortgage. A second home may be appealing, either for personal use or it can be purchased on an over 60s holiday let mortgage which allows an additional income source.
For a multitude of reasons, mortgages for the over 60s to 90s often make perfect sense.