25% of over-55s say mortgage worries severely impacting mental health

Two thirds of those polled are worried that mortgage payments are set to hit their standard of living in retirement.

Related topics:  Later Life,  Mortgages
Rozi Jones | Editor, Barcadia Media Limited
11th June 2024
old oap elderly retired retirement pension woman bill debt
"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."
- Chris Bibby, managing director at Key

The cost-of-living crisis has taken a severe toll on the mental health of over-55s with mortgages, driving many to seek professional medical help, according to new research from Key Later Life Finance.

Over-55s with mortgages are grappling with potentially unaffordable increases in their monthly mortgage payments, as low fixed rate deals end while also trying to balance saving some money into a pension for retirement. This dual pressure is a major cause of concern for many over-55s homeowners.

One in four (25%) of over-55s with mortgages found the issue has had a major impact on their mental health, with 11% revealing they have already sought or are considering seeking professional medical help, such as counselling.

Almost all of those polled have seen their mental health suffer due to the cost-of-living crisis. A staggering 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.

Mental health is an issue for over-55s without mortgages too

The research found over-55s in general, including those who own homes outright, have seen their mental health suffer during the cost-of-living crisis – around two-thirds (65%) say it has had some impact on them, with 15% stating it has had a severe impact, and 7% seeking or considering seeking professional medical support.

Financial worries have increased as a result of the cost-of-living crisis – 40% are concerned they won’t have enough retirement income, while 36% are stressed that they are spending down savings. Over one quarter (27%) say they feel like failures because they cannot help out family, and 23% worry they are getting into debt with credit cards and loans.

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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