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Can I get a mortgage in retirement

My late grandmother Jane was a fearsome old bird.

It’s increasingly likely with house prices on the rise and interest-only mortgages over-sold in the 80s alongside endowments that failed to perform, that people still need a mortgage after they retire.

Let me tell you a story.Elderly_mortgages

She had raised three children pretty much by herself, built and sold a successful fashion business almost single-handedly and had seven grandsons. All five foot two of Welsh mountain stock with glaucoma, osteoporosis and emphysema which was a legacy of a lifetime of a minimum of 40 fags a day. She was generous, kind, loving and had the strength of an infantry platoon. You toyed with her at your peril.

Some houseguest, a man in his early 50s was regaling that his wife – my grandmother’s chum – was struggling with one of the more famous symptoms of menopause.

“They are not hot flushes,” she rounded on him, fixing him with a level gaze, dark eyes looming large behind thick lenses, “They are power surges.”

The poor fellow was reduced to rubble and it still makes me laugh today. She died, aged 87 in 2005, still never taking prisoners.

Yet I am still learning important lessons from her. That is, apart from not being vulgar about my wife’s friends.

She came from a generation where the most important thing in life was a roof over your head and the enemy was debt. You didn’t acquire something you couldn’t pay for and if you couldn’t afford the thing you saved for it until you could.

Attitudes have changed and so has the world. Debt is in the headlines almost every day, usually in giant, unimaginable numbers. Sometimes these numbers are so mind boggling you cannot imagine to whom all this money is owed? Can we owe more money than there actually is? Ask Greece, Italy, Portugal.

Closer to home levels of consumer debt are once again on the rise – evidenced for example by what was the explosion of so-called pay-day lenders.

We all know what Gran meant but the simple fact of the matter is in this day and age is that debt sometimes has to be taken on; affordable debt; on terms that are understood:

By Stephen McDowell  

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