Relying on property for retirement a ‘dangerous game’

Financial services expert, Hargreaves Lansdown, has suggested people who rely on a property alone for retirement are playing a ‘dangerous game.’

This came in response to a new article about housing tenure published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which revealed that 74% of over-65s owned their homes outright in England in 2017 – up from 56% in 1993.

The ONS data also revealed, however, that home ownership had collapsed in the middle-aged bracket, showing that for those aged between 35 and 44 years old, owning a house with a mortgage fell from 68% in 1997, to 50% in 2017.

The figures also showed that 62% of people aged between 45 and 54 years owned a house with a mortgage in 1997, but this fell to 9% in 2017.

Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst, Nathan Long, commented: “Relying on your property for retirement alone is a dangerous game. It can give peace of mind as a last port of call in case you run out of money in retirement, but it only works if you actually own a property.

“Problems are being stored up for those in their 40s and early 50s. Not only were they born too late to benefit from final salary pensions, they were born too early to benefit from a lifetime of automatic pension saving and many won’t be able to call on their house if times get tough.

“Relying on the trickle down of wealth from older generations doesn’t look like a good strategy to fund retirement, so taking control of your retirement by boosting contributions now is sensible.”

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