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Financial advice needs to cater for booming older market

Written by: Antonia Di Lorenzo
Homeowners are ageing, but is the later life lending boom putting pressure on financial advice?
Financial advice needs to cater for booming older market

The number of over-65 homeowners increased by 52% over the last 20 years, nearly six times the UK average and almost twice the growth rate of the over-65 population, according to the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association.

But developments in post-retirement lending could be putting advisers under pressure.

The need to serve a growing population of older homeowners is producing a new generation of mortgage products, according to the latest report from IMLA.

In response, the association is calling on UK financial advisers to break down the silos between pension and mortgage advice, and offer a more holistic service to keep up with the pace of product innovation.

Growing sector

The report has showed that homeowners over 55 now hold 69% of the UK’s housing equity, with retirees’ mortgage debt set to double by 2030.

The report also notes that over 40,000 interest-only loans held by over-65s are due to mature each year between 2017 and 2032, with many of these borrowers requiring extended mortgage terms to stay in their homes through retirement.

As such, the report surprisingly has showed that lifetime mortgage lending increased by 29% annually since 2014 as the later life lending industry has developed a raft of innovative capital repayment, retirement interest-only and lifetime lending options to address the growing demand.

Financial advice needs to evolve

These new products, with improved features such as partial repayments and drawdown facilities, are leading to a ‘softening’ of the traditional divide between later life and mainstream financial products.

IMLA notes that financial advice has traditionally been found in silos and much more work needs to be done by guidance and advice on signposting retirees to better support decision-making.

Kate Davies, executive director at IMLA, said: “Our report finds that many retirees’ homes are worth as much or more than their pensions, and both elements need to be considered as part of a wider retirement plan. This creates challenges for those providing financial advice, many of whom will be expert in one area – pensions, investments or mortgages – but who will not necessarily have the qualifications or permissions required to advise across the spectrum.”

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