Anxious empty-nesters have nothing to fear

In our enlightened age where we are more sensitive about conditions which were previously cured with a swift ‘pull your socks up’ – a new syndrome has been identified. It is called Empty Nest Syndrome.

According to the website, the syndrome is characterised by feelings of distress, sadness, loss of purpose and even grief when children all leave the house for university, jobs, relationships, marriages and so on.

While the website goes to some length to point out Empty Nest Syndrome is not a clinical condition and is usually relatively easily remedied, it's interesting to note – particularly in the context of our understanding about 50 being the new 40, 60 being the new 40 and 70 being the new 40 - ad nauseam.

We also know, at Family Building Society, there is a lot to this demographic group and we know that quite a few ENs, shall we call them, who want to downsize their homes in order to free up equity to fuel a fun-filled retirement and use some of the money to help the younger generation get onto the housing ladder.

Yet, paradoxically, a recent survey from Nationwide Building Society had apparently revealed only a third of over 55-year-old homeowners plan to move to a smaller house, two in five never plan to move again and one in five says ‘no way’ we’re waiting for the kids to help us out when we’re old. That’s a bit mean.

Did we mention we’re a building society? I’m sure we did.

The point of a building society, and especially one called the Family Building Society, is that we exist to help out regardless of your state of mind. 

We have many options available for the older borrower. Taking into account earned income up to age 70 and pension income after that we’ll lend a five-year term if you’re 90 or a 25-year-term if you’re a mere stripling of 70.

If you don’t fancy that there are plenty of ways in which you can help your children and even grandchildren out with the purchase of a first home and stay put exactly where you are.

Our recent Bank of Mum and Dad research, alongside the London School of Economics, shows the average family contribution to a first-time house purchase in the UK is in the region of almost £60,000.

That’s why we invented the Family Mortgage so you can take as much choice as you want about your property regardless of your age, even if you are a mean old so-and-so. 

The mortgage will be secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


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.

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