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One good reason to borrow when I’m old.

These days we live in a world of acronyms, of OMGs (Oh My God), SMSs (Short Message Service) and HKW’s (all right I made that last one up – Heaven Knows What).

This confuses us people with a few years under our belts – I very often have to ask my 12-year-old to translate for me on receipt of a text message, which is a little embarrassing as her eyes seek the ceiling again. 

I am getting older (47) though not yet old, yet the financial services industry can look at me and point at my greying hairs and snigger. How can you possibly want a mortgage Grandad? I went to see my personal bank manager the other day (NatWest) and out of curiosity did some numbers with them about a possible upcoming house move and how I might finance that.

over 40's mortgage image

They would offer me only a 18-year mortgage because clearly by the time I am 65, as far as they are concerned, I’ll be yelling: BMW ‘Bring My Wheelchair’ at my irritated adult children. I don’t want to single out NatWest – they are very far from alone, it’s the institutions which are at fault. We all know what is a NIMBY  (Not In My Back Yard) and a DINKY (Dual Income No Kids Yet) but there is another acronym, I am told, which we should all start deploying and it’s a very 21st-Century one.

SKI, that is Spend the Kids’ Inheritance, brings forward all kinds of interesting thought-processes. That you are both in your 80s is not a barrier to some lenders – like the Family Building Society – who have no upper age limit as long as you can afford the repayments on a mortgage and understand the term may be limited depending on age and think through the issues that you may face as you get older.

Why can’t you have financial freedom in your later years? Why can’t you still be in the property game or even use some of the equity from your property to do with what you will – you can leave the kids that equity, they’ll be grateful for it, bless ‘em. Irresponsible, I hear you say. Well, it’s between you, your conscience and your mortgage adviser what is responsible, that three-month cruise to New Zealand and back may well look attractive, or the vintage Bentley perhaps.

The key point here is that you should have the freedom to choose if and when you want to borrow, as you did when you bought your house in the first place - not be told you’re too old by someone in their 20s. 
Because, after all, OAP also stands for One-Armed Press-up.

By Stephen McDowell

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Surrey KT17 4NL
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