New research has shown an interesting use for equity release.
According to recent analysis*, nearly one in ten over-60s taking
out equity release plans on the value of their home are divorced or
separated. The news comes in light of figures released last month
by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which demonstrate that
the number of people getting a divorce when over the age of 60 has
risen significantly over the past ten years.
The number of so-called 'silver splitters' has increased from
1.6 divorces per 1,000 married men over the age of 60 in 1991 to
2.3 by 2011 (the latest year for which figures are available),
according to the ONS. Similarly, the number of divorces per
1,000 married women over 60 has risen from 1.2 to 1.6 over the same
In contrast, overall divorce rates among other areas of the
population have fallen.
A rapidly ageing population has some role to play in these
findings, but divorce amongst the older generations is also thought
to have increased because there are fewer stigmas attached and
women have become more financially independent than used to be the
For divorced couples looking to make the most of their
retirement, equity release appears to be an increasingly popular
part of a financial settlement, with one in ten over-60s cashing in
on the value of their home currently divorced or separated. The
average amount released is also around 50% higher among those who
are separated than married couples.
Divorce is a costly business, so it's not surprising that
separated couples often have more financial need than those who are
married. Equity release can also help to fund the purchase of new
homes without either party having to sell their existing
Advisers should therefore be aware of the increasing potential
equity release has as a financial solution among divorcees over the
age of 60. However, it's vital that anyone seeking equity release
is given expert advice so they can be sure that equity release is
right for them.
*Research by Key Retirement Solutions
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