Over 4 million people in the UK over the age of 50 are out of work and many more are now worrying about redundancy according to research.
Long-term unemployment continues to hit the over 50s harder and over the past two years it is estimated that unemployment for this group has increased by over 40 per cent, with 61 per cent having been out of work for six months or more. Full time employment opportunities for this age group are notably scarce.
The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) supports business creation for the over 50 entrepreneur. Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, PRIME is the only national organisation dedicated to promoting 50+ self-employment and enterprise.
PRIME works with this valuable group of people (who are often from disadvantaged backgrounds and have been unemployed for more than six months) to help them to set up their own enterprises and become more self-reliant and financially independent. Despite limited resources, PRIME has developed a strong brand in its market and has achieved considerable success, with support for 850 new enterprises last year and a target of 7,000 sustainable businesses created in the next 10 years.
PRIME champions business creation by the over 50s entrepreneur not only by shaping the environment by informing and developing public policy, but also through the delivery of mentoring, business advice and support, inspirational events and quality training products and services to support enterprise.
Is there a role for equity release to play?
Yes, there very well may be. It’s an option for the over 55 year old homeowner who may want to raise some money to set up a new business venture, to buy into an existing firm or to invest in setting up a home office to work from. And, given that this age group are some of the best educated people in the UK, there is every hope of continuing to enjoy the work and the success it brings.
There’s also some recent research by The Equity Release Council which suggests that, by the year 2017, more than a quarter of a million (257,168) retirees will consider downsizing and 59,347 will look into equity release.
Little wonder that equity release is moving higher up the retirement planning agenda in so many different ways!