Bad news related to Equity Release and Home Reversi by Demographics Alone

7 Feb 2010

Upon hearing the relentless bad press related to equity release and home reversion, combined with everybody seeming to discuss equity release very tentatively, I couldn’t help wondering whether all this stems from the demographics of those taking out equity release.

On the one hand, suspect and pseudo-rogue ’sell house fast’ companies have been relatively ignored, swept under the rug if you may, and regarded as a less worthy cause of concern. On the other hand, equity release and home reversion are entirely regulated by the Financial Services Authority yet still carries a certain stigma.

I then asked myself, what is the difference between the two? I came to the conclusion that the difference is the age specific targeting of equity release. Whilst anybody with a house can seek the services of a sell house fast company; one has to be over 55 to take out one of the many equity release mortgages on offer.

Targeting those over the age of 55 conjures up identical connotations of vulnerability that are often associated with advertising unhealthy foods to kids.

The thing that concerns me the most about this scenario is that in most other industries or circumstances, the older generation is considered to be the wise demographic; the sage owls from whom many seek admonition and counsel. So why is it the case, with regard to anything internet-based, or any financial product, do we handle those over 55 with kid gloves? Intervening like a valiant knight to save them from their very own decisions.

Do we honestly believe that they are blindly being ripped off for equity release like a bunch of lemmings?

Or is it the case that they have made their decision with the exact amount of thought as they have in every other they have made throughout their life?

I suggest that we inhibit this jumping-the-gun and place our trust in the very same people that have reared us to be the humans that we are. For us to act in any other way would be patronizing, patronizing to the group is much more intelligent and wise than we have.

I'm not trying to influence anyone on the export of mortgage equity release. I, on the other hand, in favor of preserving the decisions of those who choose to do so.

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