It is becoming more common for people reaching state retirement age to still have a mortgage running into retirement.
Even more so, there is a growing demand for extra mortgage lending once they are in retirement.
Here we discuss what retirement mortgage options are available, acceptable income sources & where to look for independent advice on these matters.
There can be many reasons for having a mortgage beyond state retirement age; namely poor performing low cost endowments, previous unemployment or even long term health issues.
A mortgage that runs into retirement can have major issues with both affordability & term to its repayment date. Most lenders will require repayment on a mortgage by age 75.
We will now look at ensuring all available income is being claimed. Once researched, we can then discuss which of these are eligible for inclusion in mortgage affordability calculations.
So what options are available on reaching retirement itself?
Well this will depend on affordability & how the financial management of the mortgage itself can continue. The main issue with regards to affordability of an interest only mortgage at retirement is how much retirement provision has been made & maximising any other available sources of income.
What Type of Retirement Incomes Should I be Receiving?
Having reached state retirement age the state pension will become available. However, the level of this is dependent upon national insurance contributions paid over one’s working life. The current basic state pension is £97.65pw & on its own would not be sufficient to support an interest only mortgage payment alone. State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) & any entitlement to the graduated state pension can possibly boost the state pension somewhat, but not substantially.
State pensions are a source of income that can be utilised towards a mortgage in retirement.
Company pension scheme members can benefit greatly with additional pension income that could be index-linked yearly & be calculated dependent upon the number of year’s service.
There is also evidence that personal pension plans can also boosting retirement income. Increasing importance is being placed in this area on seeking independent financial advice. Due to falling annuity rates it is more important to shop around & optimise your pension fund. Annuity providers can now enhance your pension income if poor health issues exist.
Both company & personal pensions are a source of income that can be utilised towards a mortgage in retirement.
With the recent economic downturn we have unfortunately seen the reduction in bank & building society interest rates. This has affected investors, once reliant on good interest payments, which would supplement their lifestyle. Again ensure you shop around to obtain a higher interest with your savings is more important than ever. Tax payers should make use of their annual cash ISA allowance of £5100 & non-taxpayers should ensure that Inland Revenue form ‘R85' is completed in order they can obtain their interest paid gross.
Savings interest can be a source of income that can be utilised towards a mortgage in retirement.
It is also important to check whether any means tested benefits are available from the Department of Work & Pensions. Dependent upon age there may be eligibility for certain benefits such as pension credit & savings pension credit.
Income levels below £132.60pw for a single person & £202.40pw (2010-2011) jointly could allow a claim for pension credit to be made. Also, check any entitlement to council tax benefit availability, which even though it cannot help mortgage payments directly, it can lower the monthly outgoings.
If there are disability issues then depending on the condition, disability living allowance (DLA), attendance or even carers allowance may be available.
Lenders have different rules on means tested benefits – to see which qualify for a mortgage in retirement contact Equity Release Supermarket on 0800 678 5159.
Maintaining employment through or into retirement does obviously alleviate some of the financial issues. However, experience has shown that there are difficulties in gaining employment.
Nevertheless, it is increasingly apparent that people are now looking to continue working into retirement & provide extra cash to support retirement lifestyle. If part time work can be found then it can not only assist the budget, but also the soul. People in retirement are feeling & looking younger & with more activity in retirement their average life expectancy is rising as social constraints are removed.
Employment income will only help people with existing mortgages going into retirement, but not anyone trying to obtain a mortgage in retirement. Lenders will only accept employment income if a new mortgage is to be repaid before state retirement age.
Secondary investment properties can provide a form of rental income which can be used towards paying a mortgage in retirement. However, if any existing buy to let mortgage is in operation this will need to be declared & considered as part of the application.
As long as a tenancy agreement is in existence then this will be considered by the lender.
Although not a specific means of retirement income, equity release schemes can also be considered a means of retirement support. The flexibility of drawdown equity release schemes now incorporates the use of drawdown facilities which are essential in supplementing a flexible lifestyle.
These drawdown equity release schemes provide an initial tax free capital lump sum, with an additional reserve facility that can be gradually withdrawn over future years.
Equity release lenders such as Just Retirement permit additional withdrawals in small amounts of £2,000 a time, which helps retirement planning & provides financial security for the future.
Another method of providing income from equity release is through a Home Income Plan. These equity release plans involve a combination of two products; a Home Reversion scheme & a lifetime annuity. The home reversion company purchases a percentage of the property in return for a tax free cash lump sum. The lump sum can then used to purchase the annuity which can then generate the lifetime pension income required.
Both these equity release schemes will not assist in obtaining a mortgage in retirement. However, in their own right they can provide alternative capital or income in retirement with no monthly payments.
As you can see there are various income sources which mortgage lenders can consider.
With recent restriction on lending criteria, it is more important than ever to obtain independent financial advice on this specialist area of retirement mortgage finance.
For further information & advice on mortgages in retirement, please click here for details of interest only mortgages currently available.
Alternatively please contact Mark Gregory on 0800 678 5159 or email [email protected].