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It’s time we stopped calling later-life, well, later life

Equity release is often still seen as the go-to product for those hoping to borrow later than the average. Along came RIO and suddenly there were more options for those looking to mortgage into their later years. ‘Later life’ is a well-recognised term for the market, but our research shows us over 50’s are getting tired of the term retirement, they certainly don’t see themselves as old or in ‘later life’ and they view mainstream mortgages for over 50s as a completely different ballgame to equity release. Account Manager at Hodge, Andrea Roberts, explains why it’s time we changed the dialogue so we as lenders and brokers can attract todays over 50s clients.

Jennifer Aniston is 53. Let me say that again, Jennifer Aniston, Hollywood star and wellness guru, is F-I-F-T-Y T-H-R-E-E. J-Lo, 52. Matt Damon, 51. And superstar of the silver screen, Brad Pitt, a positively ancient, 57.

You might be wondering why I’m sharing this with you, but it seems pretty relevant to me when you consider we all spend a lot of our time talking about ‘later-life’ products which are aimed at the 50+ market.

We’re all guilty of it, at Hodge we say our 50+ mortgages were designed for older borrowers, and while that’s not wrong, I think it’s time to recognise ‘old’ and ‘older’ are two different things.

Both brokers and lenders need to take stock of how we talk about these products and who we talk about them too. If we all keep waiting for the stereo typical ‘older borrower’, then we’re certainly going to miss out on those go-getting Brad Pitt-alikes who could really benefit from the flexibility a 50+ mortgage could bring.

With the number of residential interest only mortgages maturing set to increase significantly in the next few years – as many as 33,500 by 2032 according to the FCA – there’s a real opportunity to support this growing market.

While downsizing may be a priority for some, our data shows us that many are just not ready to downsize. Whether it’s because they’re working longer, starting families later or just want to make the most of the home they’ve worked hard for, aspirational later lives are something we need to take into account.

In the past three years, the majority of Hodge 50+ mortgage customers have used our product to pay off an existing mortgage and to make improvements to the home, respectively.   

Hodge’s 50+ Residential Mortgage is designed for those over 50 who can’t find a suitable mainstream mortgage, we’re giving options to those who think 50 is the new 40. We take earned income up to the age of 80 into consideration – we’re absolutely about more than retiring. We’re about living your best life, whatever that looks like.

So, this is my plea to the brokers out there who see the words ‘later life’ and picture stereotypical retirees of years past. To the brokers who think equity release is a catch-all product for anyone over 50 looking at their financial options. To the brokers confusing old with older.

Join me in promoting the possibilities of alternatives and options they can bring to the table. Don’t just help Jenny stay on her block, help her finance fitting the bifolds she’s always wanted. And remember, at Hodge our underwriters look at every case on its own merit, so if you have a tricky client, we’re always working with you to help, appreciating customers are as unique as the mortgages we provide.

Talk to us today about why you should change the dialogue around later life lending on 0800 138 9109 or click here to see more.