Why We Support the #LaterYearsAreGreatYears Campaign
Whilst researching for our Access Equity Release content and blogs, we are often reminded that later life and retirement years are too often blighted by outdated stereotypes in the media. Images of blue rinses and zimmer frames may be phasing out but sometimes perceptions of later life are completely at odds with our own later life experiences and those of our clients.
It’s not just us. Campaigner and writer Joyce Williams recently published a great blog via www.grandmawilliams.com, lamenting the negative spin on later life in the media, some charities and even organizations such as the NHS. Her social media campaign #LaterYearsAreGreatYears aims to change the dialogue about life after work and ageing more generally.
Perhaps her campaign resonates with us so strongly because we regularly talk to our clients (homeowners aged 55 and over) about their aspirations for the future. They certainly do not believe that their best years are behind them. They are more interested in how to plan and finance the retirement they wish for.
These homeowners have worked hard all their lives, but their pension pots are often disappointing and won’t allow them to live their retirement of choice without raising more income or selling their home to downsize. Their homes however have grown in value over the years, providing the opportunity to retain ownership of their home and release some of that equity to spend how they wish. This might include travel and holidays, home improvements, a new car, repaying debts including a mortgage, a second home purchase or even helping family members to purchase their first home. Read our blog about popular reasons for equity release.
GROWTH IN LATER LIFE LENDING
The number of people using equity release in this way in later life is growing consistently. The latest figures from the Equity Release Council show that customer demand is driving equity release lending ever upwards with 12,891 new plans – a record number – agreed to in the last three months of 2018 . The total number of new plans agreed for the year reached 46,397, a 25 % increase year-on-year.
The council’s figures also show that 82,791 customers released equity from their homes in the whole of 2018.
Just as awareness of equity release in later life continues to grow, we’re confident that positive perceptions of later life will spread. They could and should be some of the best years of our lives.