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Taking a long-term view of the elderly

JON KING, MANAGING DIRECTOR, HODGE LIFETIME
JON KING, MANAGING DIRECTOR, HODGE LIFETIME

The trend for people to live longer has been growing for the last couple of centuries. Better standards of living, nutrition and healthcare have combined to improve the expectation of living a longer life.

A long-term view helps us to put the impact of annual gradual improvements into perspective.

To illustrate the dramatic change, at the beginning of the last century the average life expectancy in the UK was lower than 50. At the start of the 21st century, this figure had improved by more than 30 years.

So it is not surprising that the funding of care for the elderly has come to the top of the political agenda.

Not only are people living longer, but also the proportion of older people as a percentage of the total population is increasing.

The role of equity release in this debate is often overlooked. But this is likely to change, given the amount of money tied up in bricks and mortar.

Apart from money, equity release has always been about keeping people in their own homes, which is where older people want to be anyway.

The industry will have to ensure that products, and the advice process, match the changes in demand that are heading our way.

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