According to a new survey of 205 IFAs, emotional ties to their family home is the single biggest barrier to retirees downsizing.
The research, from more 2 life, found that 87% of their clients cite this as the most common reason for not moving, with over half (52%) saying they can’t find another suitable property to move into.
Other explanations retired clients gave for not downsizing included moving costs being too high (35%), leaving it too late to move (29%), and the level of stamp duty they would be required to pay being too high (20%).
73% of IFAs have had clients ask for advice on downsizing and 4 out of 5 IFAs said they would sometimes recommend equity release as an alternative option to downsizing, but only if it was appropriate to the situation. Only a small proportion (9%) would always recommend it to their clients as an alternative.
As such, more 2 life is calling for more advisers to raise the topic of equity release as a viable solution for clients who are unwilling or unable to downsize. Additionally, for any clients who may have plans to downsize in the future, the lender is stressing the importance of discussing modern features such as downsizing protection with them to help avoid unnecessary exit fees on their loans.
Stuart Wilson, Channel Marketing Director at more 2 life, commented: “This new research shows that, understandably, many retired individuals are reluctant to move out of their homes and leave behind the memories and connections they have made there. However, for retirees who still require extra wealth for whatever reason, whether that be to repay an existing mortgage, supplement their current retirement income or pay for a once in a lifetime holiday, equity release is an extremely viable alternative option. Equally, where downsizing is very much part of a client’s plans, advisers should be making them aware of products that can help them make that transition without incurring early repayment fees.
There are a wide range of products available in the retirement lending market which can help meet customers’ needs. Advisers have a crucial role to play in raising awareness among their clients, of both the features and benefits of equity release products. At more 2 life, we understand the importance of advisers in the later life lending process and encourage them to think outside the box when having retirement planning discussions with their clients. By highlighting product features which clients may be unaware of, they may be able to potentially make equity release a solution to helping retirees find extra funds without having to leave their family homes.”