Having children late in life increases debt for over 50s

Starting a new family in later life is becoming more common with more than a million over 50s in second time around relationships.

Although enjoying a happy family life is a boon for most, tens of thousands are embroiled in debt.

Around 12.5% of over 50s still have a mortgage and the average outstanding loan is more than £80,000, according to a survey by financial firm Saga Personal Finance.

One in 17 had a child when they were aged 41 years old or older.

But the for second lifers, 20% still have a mortgage and many more are likely to have other debts, such as personal loans and credit cards worth at least £12,000.

Unlocking cash to pay debts

These debts are leading many second lifers to look at clearing what they owe by unlocking cash from their homes by equity release.

The firm says a fifth of over 50s are paying down mortgages with equity release, while a third take money from the value of their homes to pay off other debts.

The research found that having children later in life is becoming a trend.

The trigger seems to be couples are concentrating on careers before having a child with their partner or because they split up from their first partner and start a second relationship when they are older.

Parents in their 60s with teenage children

Although 6% had a child after they reached 41 years old, on average 20% had a child when they were aged between 32 and 34 years old and another 20% when aged between 35 and 40 years old.

Jeff Bromage, chief operating officer at Saga Personal Finance, said: “It’s not uncommon for parents in their 60s to pay for university fees or driving lessons for teenage children.”

He also suggested taking out life cover to give family and loved ones security was a good idea for the over 50s who still have child dependents.

“Having children later in life keeps people on their toes,” said Bromage. “But the cost of raising children is increasing all the timer and parents need to make sure they have the right protection and savings in place.”

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