Almost one in 10 over-60s taking out equity release plans on the value of their home are divorced or separated, according to latest information from over-55s specialist adviser Key Retirement Solutions.
The average amount being released by couples who are separated is around 50% higher than married couples, analysis of Key Retirement Solutions’ customer database shows.
Couples who are separating release an average of £63,300 compared with £41,100 for married couples reflecting the need for more money during a separation.
Government figures show the number of divorces among over-60s is rising in contrast with a fall in the number of divorces in total. For over-60s men in England and Wales the number of divorces has risen by 73% in the past 10 years and it has grown by 81% for over-60s women.
Analysts say the rise in divorce is partially driven by increased financial independence among women who are now more able to support themselves following divorce. Other reasons for the rise in divorce include increased longevity.
Key Retirement Solutions believes equity release can help divorcing couples to split their assets with less financial damage and the need to buy new homes but urges any couples to seek independent financial advice. Its Pensioner Property Equity Index shows over-65s homeowners in Great Britain have property equity worth around £774 billion.
Dean Mirfin, group director at Key Retirement Solutions, said: “The rise in divorce among over-60s despite the overall drop in levels in divorce is a sad reality and is reflected in increasing use of equity release as part of the financial settlement.
“The over-60s will in general have more valuable assets to split when marriages end and equity release can help in enabling couples to avoid having to sell their home and both buy again. Couples who are separated are releasing 50% more than married couples as our figures show.
“Advisers need to be aware of equity release as a potential solution among a range of solutions for divorcing couples.”