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Andrea Rozario: Equity release lifeline for retirees who decide to divorce

Rozario

Equity release is a lifeline for retirees who decide to divorce

Divorce rates have dropped to historic lows in almost all age groups, but they remain stubbornly high among the over-60s. From 1990 to 2012, there was an 85 per cent increase in divorces within this demographic.

The rise of what the International Longevity Centre calls “silver separators” is due to many overlapping and historic reasons: people marrying later in life, greater female financial independence, shifting attitudes to divorce, and baby boomers being more liberal than their parents.

Of course, it is a great shame for any marriage to break down; however, it is a fact of life and over-60s who are divorcing may have no option but to use the equity tied up in their property to enable one partner to move on and buy another home.

Often, selling the marital home to enable separation is not feasible but the alternative of both parties remaining in the home is unpalatable. Understanding that equity release is an option can be a relief for both parties.

The rebellious baby boomers who are now entering their retirement years never seem to do the things their parents did: they divorce, they spend, they borrow, and many just live in the moment. Although there are many strings to the bow of equity release, I really believe the choice – and the often positive emotional impact the released money can have – is perhaps one of the most important, especially after the trauma of divorce.

Andrea Rozario is chief corporate officer at Bower Retirement Services

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