One in four women homeowners over 55 have no private pension, according to new research.
The disparity was highlighted in the latest research by SunLife, which was released today and found that one in five women over 55 believed they were worse off than they expected to be at this stage of their lives
Meanwhile only one in 20 male homeowners over 55 had no private pension.
Simon Stanney, equity release director at SunLife, said: "Downsizing is an obvious choice when it comes to releasing cash from your property, but our survey shows that 61 per cent of women over 55 do not want to move, with 56 per cent saying 'I love my home and I can’t see myself moving in my lifetime'."
The main reasons given for not wanting to move were that is was ‘too stressful’, that the house was ‘just as they want it’, they wanted to save the house for their children and there were ‘too many memories’ tied up in their homes.
When asked if they would consider equity release as an option for releasing cash, one in 34 women over 55 said they already had, and 28 per cent said they would consider it, or already are considering it.
Mr Stanney added: “While there will be many women who do not have a private pension but will benefit from their partners’, there will still be some women over 55 who simply do not have sufficient means to fund their retirement. However, these women may have a significant amount of equity in their homes. Many are reluctant to leave their homes, and that is when equity release can offer a solution.”
SunLife surveyed more than 1,000 people over 55 who either own their home outright or with a mortgage.
According to SunLife’s research, on average, women over 55 have lived in their homes for 24 years and seen their homes increase in value by around £111,000.
Aj Somal, financial planner at Aurora Financial Planning, said: "Perhaps the gender pay gap of the working lives of people are also to blame for these differences between men and women.
"Women like all young people need to start saving at an early age, and get into the habit of putting away money for the future.
"Hopefully auto enrolment can be successful in bridging the savings gap, but the onus is still on people to save towards the future, especially the self employed or those not eligible for a company retirement scheme due to age or earnings."