More than a quarter expect to continue paying mortgage in retirement

783,000 say they will still have bills for mortgage, rent

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


More than a quarter of people exect to be paying rent or a mortgage during retirement, a new survey has found, with the number highest between those currently aged 35 to 44.

The research from Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland found 60 per cent of those with a mortgage on their homes said it would be fully repaid by the time they reach retirement, but 27 per cent, or 783,000, said they would still be paying. Around 13 per cent are expecting to inherit property and be mortgage free on retirement.

Among the 35-44 year age group, 36.5 per cent said they would still be repaying a mortgage or shelling out for rent, with 21.5 per cent of those aged 55 and over saying the same.

The number is slightly higher in women, at 28 per cent versus 25 per cent in men.

Of those who stillexpect to pay a mortgage 31 per cent are unclear how they will pay, 22 per cent will have to depend on State support, and 20 per cent plan to use savings and investment income.

“Our research findings highlight some very real societal issues that need to be debated at policy and governmental level if we are to avoid people living in poverty in retirement or being forced to work well beyond their normal retirement age. The expectation with previous generations was that they would work hard, save up and buy their own homes and, by the time they retired, their mortgage would be fully repaid. As such, they believed that their day-to-day expenses would plummet in retirement,” said Stephen Rice, Aviva. “However, the landscape has changed dramatically as, with rising house prices, high rents, and the need for a substantial deposit, those lucky enough to be able to get on the property ladder are doing so later and with extended mortgage terms that they are likely to be paying off into retirement. It is also likely that the number of long-term renters will continue to grow as they simply can’t get on the property ladder and will continue to have to pay rent, up to and including in retirement.”

The survey also asked respondents what they were most looking forward to in retirement. Foreign travel topped the list at 64 per cent, with spending time with family and with friends coming in second and third. Eating out, hiking and walking, gardening, and DIY activities in the home also featured prominently on the list, along with playing golf and other sporting pursuits.