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Age is merely a number – just like a mortgage

It’s a frustration for those in or near retirement that some lenders won’t even entertain their property ambitions – just because they are deemed as too old. Well, that’s not the case for us.

Think about the books you read which changed your life. For me, a big one was Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

As relevant today as it was in 1932 the novel contains a dystopian view of a controlled, saccharine society – yet its undertone is of free-thinking and quiet rebellion. I quote Huxley: The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm. Just because some of us have a few wrinkles (smile-lines), grey hairs (wisdom antennae) and a bit of (all bought and paid for) ballast around the waist doesn’t mean we are all considering a retirement of allotments, cardigans and Werther’s Originals.

Far from it – we are thinking about the future.

My late grandmother used to say she was not enduring ‘hot flushes’ – she was having ‘power surges’. And why not? In this brave new world where we are routinely enjoying an active life into our eighties, why can’t we get a mortgage? Some mainstream lenders say they won’t lend after you are 65 – which means if you are over 40, and want a 25 year mortgage, your choices can be limited.

Yet what of those with second families, with grown-up children and grandchildren – those who want to use their hard-earned pension income to buy a property – even a new home? Or who just don’t want to pay off their interest only mortgage by downsizing yet. The thing about life is that it changes all the time.

Well, here’s a thing. You can. The Family Building Society has been providing these types of mortgages for many years. Where we lead, it seems others are following – we’ve written mortgages for our customers up to the age of 95. Now, not being one’s to blow one’s own trumpet and all – but now other lenders are catching on.

It has been apparent to us for some time now that many of those who were turned down for a mortgage were rejected due to their age and those missing out were those with maturing interest-only mortgages. Last year a ‘Challenger’ bank launched a mortgage product aimed at the over-55s, as has an insurance company more recently. It has been widely reported in the professional press that financial advisers are crying out for more products for their clientele who are routinely in their 50s, 60s and 70s.

We like to think of ourselves as an innovative Building Society and have a suite of products specifically designed for the older customer like our popular Retirement Lifestyle Booster, but as far as a good old fashioned mortgage – we’ve got that too.

Don’t just take it from us – hear from our own borrowers about their new, lease of later-life. I might be getting older, but there’s no need to stunt my growth.

Written by Steve McDowell

The content of this blog is Steve McDowell’s personal opinion and comment, and views expressed here are his and unless specifically stated, are not those of Family Building Society. The content on this page is not intended to be advice in any circumstances.