Comment: Less of a broken home

Andrea Rozario 2015

The over-55s have the highest divorce rate but equity release can help to split an estate without selling the family home

The over-55 demographic served by the equity release industry is as large as it is diverse.

Thanks to the rapid acceleration in life expectancy, this group has swelled to become one of the most important throughout business and politics. How often do we hear about the significance of the ‘grey vote’ or ‘grey pound’?

But despite their significance and the fact many people seem to think they have ‘had it easy’, there is one unfortunate reality that plagues this demographic: divorce.

Recent research has shown the over-55s make up a quarter of all divorces each year and are the only group to have seen an increase in divorce rates in the past decade.

Beyond the obvious emotional turmoil that divorce forces on couples, the financial strain is one of the biggest struggles to overcome. When finances have to be carved up, the family home can become stuck in the middle.

Equity release can help divorcees split an estate without having to lose the family home entirely. What is more, the money released can help the other partner fund a deposit for a new home. Indeed, while there have been developments in the mainstream mortgage market allowing older borrowers more flexibility, it is still problematic for the older generation facing divorce to secure mortgages.

It is unfortunate when a marriage breaks down but it has become a fact of life for tens of thousands across the country. When divorce does occur, both partners need sincere and honest assistance, and equity release is one option that can help people start again without the pain of selling the family home.

Andrea Rozario is chief corporate officer at Bower Retirement