Ireland’s population is getting older and facing lower incomes, insufficient pensions and longer mortgage terms

A new Spry report into later life finance in Ireland has found that reduced incomes, insufficient pensions, longer mortgage terms, and increased living costs mean that many older people will find it increasingly difficult to live the later life that they expect.

Our report – Later Life Finance and The New Age of Equity Release – analyses independent data and trends to provide insight into the financial and social challenges posed by Ireland’s growing older population. It shows that while older people are living longer and their wealth is increasing, they often struggle to access finance and are the social group most at risk of poverty.

Spry Finance switch to Lifetime Loan

As Ireland’s specialist in later life lending, it’s important to us that we fully understand – and can respond to – the needs and concerns of our customers (the over-60s). This is why we produced the report, which – perhaps unsurprisingly – finds that many older people are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their standard of living in retirement. The key conclusions include:

  • A fast-growing older population presents significant challenges for Ireland as a society
  • The pension provision of the past will not be enough for the retirements of the future
  • Funding and resource provision for care in later life has not been adequately considered – either by government or by individuals
  • Older people are not well-served by traditional financial institutions and do not have a wide range of financial options

Older homeowners are one of the wealthiest demographics – but often they are asset rich and cash poor. Many of them make unnecessary compromises in their living standards and are excluded from accessing credit and loans that could enable them to use their wealth to live more comfortably.

Our report’s conclusions show the need for the State and those working in financial services to reconsider how older people fund their later years. We’re moving towards a future where all people need to plan and think differently about their later life financial planning and the tools available to them – including accepting a greater role for later life financial products that could enable them to access their wealth if they choose.

For some older homeowners downsizing, renting out a room, putting retirement plans on hold or working longer could be the answer. For many others, using a lifetime loan to access the value built up in their biggest asset, and controlling the balance of the loan with optional repayments, may be the right course of action for their circumstances.

In 2024, Spry intends introducing new products that will provide greater financial choice and control for older individuals. We support a future where people think differently about financial planning and consider all the tools available to help them live a greater life in their later life.

View Report