One in four over-55s say cost-of-living crisis has impacted their mental health, finds Key

The cost-of-living crisis has taken a toll on the mental health of over-55s with mortgages, driving many to seek professional medical help for their mental health, new research from Key Later Life Finance has revealed.

Over-55s with mortgages are grappling with potentially unaffordable increases in their monthly mortgage payments, as low fixed rate deals end while also trying to balance saving some money into a pension for retirement.

This dual pressure is a major cause of concern for many over-55s homeowners. 

Key warns that one in four (25%) of over-55s with mortgages found the issue has had a major impact on their mental health, with 11% revealing they have already sought or are considering seeking professional medical help, such as counselling. 

Almost all of those polled have seen their mental health suffer due to the cost-of-living crisis.

A staggering 87% of those surveyed stated that their mental health has suffered, with only 13% saying they are unaffected. 

Two thirds (66%) of those polled expressed worry that mortgage repayments would hit their standard of living in retirement, while almost one quarter (23%) are worried the cost-of-living crisis will make it difficult to clear their mortgage, and 20% are worried they will not be able to keep up repayments. 

Key is urging over-55s struggling with a rise in mortgage repayments to look for solutions in the later life lending market that may not be provided by their mainstream lender.

Specialist advice would cover access to new products such as Payment Term Lifetime Mortgage, which allows partial monthly interest payments, as well as Interest Reward Lifetime Mortgages which offer lower interest rates when borrowers commit to making repayments plus standard Lifetime Mortgages and Retirement Interest Only mortgages. 

Chris Bibby, managing director at Key, said: “It is concerning that so many over-55s with mortgages are seeing their mental health suffer, and even having to seek professional medical help and counselling to cope. 

“The prospect of having to pay for major increases in their monthly mortgage payment while other bills are going up is a huge issue, which can make saving for retirement even harder. And it’s not just those with mortgages who are worried. 

“There is a real need for strong solutions for older customers, and the later life lending market is evolving rapidly to meet demand.

“Over-55s should seek specialist advice on the growing number of product options available to them, which could provide a better outcome than those offered by High Street lenders.”