Women are more cautious about releasing equity than men
While UK adults over the age of 45 are less concerned about equity release in general, there are significant gender differences around perceptions of equity release in the country, new research from equity release lender Standard Life Home Finance has found.
According to the results of the study, nearly six in 10, or 58%, of men in the UK are comfortable about taking out equity release, compared to just over four in 10, or 43%, of women expressing confidence in doing so.
Consumer concerns were lower this year when compared with last year, with 32% of respondents having no concern about accessing their housing equity in 2023 in contrast to just 7% saying the same in 2022.
However, a lower proportion of women at 22%, compared to men at 35%, reported having no concerns about the process. In addition, only 7% of men compared to 21% of women felt worried when they realised they needed additional financial support to meet their needs.
Standard Life’s new Lightbulb Moments report also revealed that concerns around releasing equity in their home also have gender differences, with 37% of women expressing concern about losing their home – a worry that only 20% of men felt.
Interestingly, the research also found that concerns about being judged for needing equity release weigh heavier on women as 12% of them worry about being judged compared to just 3% of men.
“An increasing number of people are considering equity release as a viable way to augment their retirement income and navigate the cost-of-living crisis,” commented Kay Westgarth (pictured), director of sales at Standard Life Home Finance. “It is great to see that consumer confidence in the sector is growing, and overall concerns this year are lower than last year. This is largely due to the great work of advisers in informing and supporting customers on their options.
“However, this research shows the interesting differences in the way equity release is perceived among men and women. Advisers should identify any worries and tailor their advice to instil confidence in each individual customer.”