Alright, first time mums too, but that narrative is getting a little stale. You’ll have all seen headlines of that ilk a fair amount in recent years, but maybe as ‘later-life’ specialists you’ve not given it much thought. Business development director at Hodge, Emma Graham, explains why the fact first-time parents aren’t as fresh-faced as they used to be is something you need to know about.
We’ve talked a lot recently about the need to recognise the changing face of later-life, the fact old and older are by no means the same and the need for us as lenders and brokers to learn more about our potential customers.
According to ONS data, the average age of mums in 2020 (the most recent ONS data) was a positively ancient 30, while the average age of a dad was 33. And while we don’t tend to spend our days chatting to 30-year-olds about 50+ mortgages over the heads of their bouncing babes, we are feeling the impact of this shift.
For generations gone by, pension pots were there for a retirement where the kids were grown and long moved out, and teenage angst and sibling disputes were all but distant memories. But this new breed of retirees, soon-to-be-retirees and future retirees are facing very different challenges to their predecessors.
We all know people are working longer but everyone has to retire at some point so those pensions are going to have to work a lot harder. If people aren’t starting family life until their 30s, then we’re looking at 55-year-olds with children in their late teens and early twenties. That means university, driving lessons and gap year funding are still very much front of mind at a time when thoughts are usually turning to the great retirement countdown.
There’s also the fact the age of first-time home buyers is on the rise, while the cost of buying first-time homes and keeping said homes powered with gas and electricity are reaching record highs.
On top of all that, this same group may be taking on caring responsibilities for their own parents and the costs associated with this. Suddenly, we’re looking at a very tightly squeezed group in need of some alternative solutions to an increasingly tricky situation.
Equity release used to be the go-to option, but generally that’s only available from 55+ and, at that younger end of the spectrum, the LTV (at around 25% for a 55 year old) is fairly low. But 50+ mortgages, with a maximum LTV at Hodge of 85%, and the option to access from the age of 50, could present a whole range of opportunities which were previously out of reach.
It’s clear times are changing and luckily, so are we. In creating more flexibility in our product range, we’re enabling later-life customers to remortgage like never before. It’s time we changed the dialogue so as lenders and brokers we not only attract the borrowers of today, but also build a solid foundation for the borrowers of tomorrow.
Later-life is no longer code for ‘a quiet retirement’, later-life is just the start of a new chapter, and our products empower your clients to fill those blank pages with moments that matter to them.
Talk to us today about why you should change the dialogue around later life lending.