Mortgage Woes – Cost of Living Crisis Affecting Over-55s’ Mental Health

The cost of living crisis is hitting older homeowners hard, with many struggling to cope with rising mortgage payments. A new study by Key Later Life Finance reveals that one in four over-55s with mortgages are suffering mental health problems because of the financial pressure.

Facing a Double Whammy

It’s a double whammy for these homeowners. They’re dealing with soaring mortgage payments as fixed-rate deals end and interest rates climb. On top of that, they’re trying to save for retirement – a tough ask when every penny is stretched thin.

The Mental Health Toll

The study found that a staggering 87% of over-55s with mortgages have seen their mental health suffer because of the cost of living crisis. A worrying 11% have already sought or are considering seeking professional medical help such as counselling.

Fear of the Future

The worries don’t end with current bills. Two-thirds (66%) are concerned that their mortgage repayments will impact their standard of living in retirement. A significant 23% are worried they won’t be able to clear their mortgage, and 20% fear they won’t be able to keep up with repayments.

A Call for Help

Key Later Life Finance is urging over-55s struggling with mortgage repayments to seek specialist advice from experts in later life lending. They point to new products that could offer relief, such as:

  • Payment Term Lifetime Mortgage: This allows partial monthly interest payments.
  • Interest Reward Lifetime Mortgage: These offer lower interest rates when borrowers commit to making repayments.

A Warning from the Experts

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. 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.”

He stressed the need for “strong solutions” for older customers and that the later life lending market is rapidly evolving to meet their needs. He urged over-55s to seek specialist advice and explore the options available to them.