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One in three expect to be renting in retirement

30th July 2015

It has been estimated that by 2040, up to a third of 60-year-olds will be renting and will have never owned their own home. These figures have led charities to believe that this could leave older people vulnerable to poverty, poor living conditions and eviction. It may also mean that they find making any home adaptations such as installing a stairlift to be more difficult, as this would be at the landlord’s discretion with renting a stairlift more of a possibility.

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that half of those born in 1960 were homeowners by the age of 30. However, only a third of those born in 1980 will achieve the same, with this reduced to a quarter for people born in 1990. This means that there will soon be a large proportion of older people who will never own their own home during their lifetime, which is a major concern. Age UK has stated that rented properties have the ‘worst levels of disrepair and accessibility’.

More costs for older people will fall to the state

The situation could eventually mean taxpayers have to cover billions of pounds worth of housing benefits and social care for the elderly. Currently, most pensioners retire mortgage-free, or with very little left to pay, and are able to use this asset to release equity and pay for care homes etc. should they need to. This means that many older people will be left without a financial safety net.

Professor Wilcox, who wrote a report for the Chartered Institute of Housing on the issue, said in a Daily Mail article: “This will inevitably have an impact on housing benefit costs because many pensioners will not be able to afford the rent on their pensions. This needs to be taken into account by the Government when they are setting policy on providing opportunities for younger households to become homeowners.”

Image Credit: Tawheed Manzoor (

This content was written by Emily Bray. 

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.