More single people over 65: how this impacts retirement finances

8 January 2020

The growth in the number of people aged 65 and over who are living alone 

Figures1 about the number of older single people have been published by the Equity Release Council (ERC) and are based on their analysis of data collected by the National Office of Statistics (ONS). This shows that the number of over 65s living alone has increased by 15% in the last decade, from 3.4 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2018, with the ERC predicting that the number will rise to over 4 million by 2020 and will account for more than half of all single-person households as early as 2022

Reasons for the growing number of older single people 

The ERC attributes the growing numbers of people aged 65 and over who are living alone to three key reasons: 

The ONS statistics on divorce2 show that the average age of divorcees has gone up by 5.5 years since 1999 for both men (now on average 46 years old) and women (now on average 44 years old). 

The impact on the equity release market 

Perhaps not surprisingly, with more people aged 65 and over living alone, the proportion of single-basis equity release plans is rising: 

Proportion of total new equity release plans3

Single applicants

Joint applicants

New drawdown plans, H1 2019



New lump sum plans, H1 2019



How we help single equity release applicants 

If you’ve not released equity from your property before, it can seem a bit daunting at first – especially if you haven’t got a partner to discuss it with. That’s why our expert equity release advisers will always take time to make sure you understand the options and their consequences at every step of the process. They’re also happy to involve a relative or friend in our meetings with you so you have an extra pair of eyes and ears to help you understand things and ensure the decision you make is one that supports your personal circumstances and goals,” comments Jan Johnson, director of 55+ Equity Release.

Our expert advisers will guide you through the equity release maze – whether you’re making a joint application or are on your own. 


1 Equity Release Council

2 Office of National Statistics, divorcing couples 2017

3 Equity Release Council Autumn Market Report 2019

Book an initial, no-obligation consultation

During the current coronavirus outbreak, we are conducting these over the phone or by video call.

Talk to an expert