Pensioners urged to apply for pension credit

Cost of living crisis hits mental health of mortgage holders over 55

A quarter of those with mortgages over the age of 55 say that worries about payments are impacting their mental health. 

Later life finance firm Key, who deals with wills and LPAs, say their research has found that 11 per cent of those surveyed are considering seeking mental health help after mortgage worries are having a ‘severe impact’. The firm suggests the results should ‘urge over 55’s facing a mortgage crunch to look at later life lending solutions’.

The ongoing cost of living crisis is the culprit according to Key who say that those over 55 and of retirement age are ‘grappling with potentially unaffordable increases’ in their monthly mortgage payments, as low fixed rate deals end. Many are attempting to balance saving money for their pension and upcoming retirement.

According to the latest poll, almost ‘all of those polled have seen their mental health suffer’ due to the cost-of-living crisis. A total of 87% of those surveyed stated that their mental health has suffered, with only 13% saying they are unaffected.

Two thirds (66%) of those polled expressed worry that mortgage repayments would hit their standard of living in retirement, while almost one quarter (23%) are worried the cost-of-living crisis will make it difficult to clear their mortgage, and 20% are worried they will not be able to keep up repayments.

Key is urging over-55s struggling with a rise in mortgage repayments to look for solutions in the later life lending market that ‘may not be provided by their mainstream lender’. Specialist advice would cover access to new products such as Payment Term Lifetime Mortgage, which allows partial monthly interest payments, as well as Interest Reward Lifetime Mortgages which offer lower interest rates when borrowers commit to making repayments plus standard Lifetime Mortgages and Retirement Interest Only mortgages.

Chris Bibby, Managing Director at Key, said: “It is concerning that so many over-55s with mortgages are seeing their mental health suffer, and even having to seek professional medical help and counselling to cope.

“The prospect of having to pay for major increases in their monthly mortgage payment while other bills are going up is a huge issue, which can make saving for retirement even harder. And it’s not just those with mortgages who are worried.

“There is a real need for strong solutions for older customers, and the later life lending market is evolving rapidly to meet demand. Over-55s should seek specialist advice on the growing number of product options available to them, which could provide a better outcome than those offered by High Street lenders.”

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