The decision to delay parenthood until the late 30s or early 40s puts an additional financial strain on consumers in their later years, research has found.
The findings from a Saga Life Insurance survey show that while many may be looking forward to a debt-free retirement, ‘older’ parents may still face repayments on their borrowing well into their 50s.
The burden of paying off mortgage debt is still a reality for 17% of survey respondents, and this figure climbs to 23% for those who had children in 40s. Paying down loan debt and footing the cost of university fees is also common within this group.
While on average the majority of over 50s had their last child at 31, 20% added a final member to their brood between the ages of 35 and 40. For one in 20, the final addition to their family took place in their 40s.
Data from the Office for National Statistics also highlights that the trend for later life parenthood is growing. The data found that there has been a three-fold increase in the number of women having a baby over the age of 40 since 1991.
According to Saga’s research, those who had children in their 40s will pay off their mortgage at 69.63, three years later than the average age of 66.78.
Mortgage debt will also be higher for the former group; £76,719 against the average £62,262 owed in the over 50s group.
“Twenty years ago, by the time people retired the majority would have paid off their mortgage, their children would no longer be in education and would have left home long ago,” said Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive of Saga Services.
“Today people have mortgage and family responsibilities into later life – but the protection that they may have had through work or their own life cover often lapses- leaving a ‘protection gap’.”
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