Will Hale, comments on ONS Families and Households statistics
15 November 2019
Will Hale, CEO at Key the UK’s largest equity release advisory firm, comments on the ONS Families and Households statistics: “When you take a hard look at today’s statistics, they appear to be a stark warning that for many the intergenerational wealth divide continues to grow and that we need to seriously consider how we can tackle this issue.
“Over the last two decades there has been a 46.3% increase in the number of young people aged 20 to 34 years old living with their parents, increasing from 2.4 million in 1999 to 3.5 million in 2019. This may be due to increasing rental prices and difficulties getting onto the property ladder. At Key, we have seen an increase in parents and grandparents using equity release to access their own property wealth in order to help with deposits for younger family members. While this is not a solution for everyone, we need to increase awareness of the options available to people who want to transfer property wealth between the generations.
“Today’s statistics show the number of people living alone has increased by a fifth over the last 20 years, from 6.8 million in 1999 to 8.2 million in 2019. The majority of this increase is driven by the growth in the numbers of men living alone (72.1%), predominantly aged 45 to 64 years old. Whether this is through choice or due to a change in circumstances, we know that they may well struggle financially in retirement – and if they are a homeowner, they should be encouraged to explore how they can make best use of all their assets to enjoy a more comfortable standard of living. Sitting in an expensive property whilst at the same time struggling to meet basic living costs such as heating and eating makes very little sense and whilst downsizing may be an option for some for others equity release may be the solution.
“To ensure that they make the best possible choices for their circumstances, we would always encourage people to access specialist financial advice provided by a qualified adviser.”