I took out a large mortgage at the grand old age of 46. It was for a 25 year term so I would have still been paying it off into my seventies, well after I planned to retire. That worried me a lot at the time though didn’t seem to concern my mortgage provider one bit.
Fortunately a few years of business success enabled me to overpay and thankfully that mortgage is no more. My retirement outlook would be so different if it weren’t for that. I suppose I was lucky to be granted the mortgage at all, otherwise I could have ended up renting for the rest of my days.
Having to cover housing costs – whether rent or mortgage – on top of all the other day-to-day necessities such as energy bills, council tax and food, never mind all the nice stuff such as holidays and eating out, would have been near impossible with nothing but state pension income coming in.
I’m so glad that I no longer have to worry about paying for housing and yet more and more older people will be, according to English Housing Survey.
By 2031, a report has suggested, a million older people will be renting their home as the full force of financial woe from the pandemic hits earnings and savings.
Over-55s are the fastest growing group of renters, according to the English Housing Survey. Some 609,000 of this demographic were renting in 2019, more than double the figure in 2009.
This will hit one million by 2031 if the pace of growth is maintained, according to Paragon Bank.
The lender’s Richard Rowntree said there were a number of other factors contributing to the sharp increase in the over-55s renting, alongside the pandemic.
This included rising divorce amongst older people, poorer pension returns and men living longer. Coronavirus was likely to accelerate these trends, he added.
“Older people may decide they want to live nearer to family members, want a property with more space or indeed a smaller property which is easier to maintain.
“Divorce is expected to increase and you may also see people wanting to access equity from their home to help out family members,” he said.
It’s another one of the hidden impacts of coronavirus and I fear that older people will be low in the priority list when it comes to support from Government.
It will lead to later years of struggle for 100,000s of older people with their dreams of a comfortable retirement destroyed by the impact of this awful pandemic.