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Is it ever too late to be holding a mortgage?

The answer is both yes and and no. It's entirely specific to individual situations but the most important thing to remember is that when you're thinking about the time that you'll plan to leave work; less (or no) debt means less stress.

This looks different for everyone as being debt free can mean downsizing, accessing superannuation or selling investments to achieve this but there is significant reason why you should have less debt at this stage of life.

A recent study by Curtin and RMIT Universities has found that older Australians (over 55's) who are feeling mortgage stress feel a significant decline in their mental health.

In fact the mental health effects are 'comparable to those resulting from long term health conditions'.

This is a real issue for Australians as mortgage debt held by those 55 years and older has 'grown by almost 7 times...since the late 1980's'. This research is from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute see here.

Another note here is that women are adversely effected more than men's due to relationship breakdowns and poor labour market engagement, among other factors.

Of course, just holding a mortgage does not impact mental well-being on its own but the possible decreasing of the ability to pay for that mortgage can.

There also appears to be an increase in over 55's who have negative equity in their homes; that is owning more that the property would be worth.

Another note is that trying to refinance a loan at 50 or over often requires a stated exit strategy ie how you plan to pay down the loan while you still have income.

Here at Diamond Finance Geelong we believe that borrowing to own property is your vehicle to increasing equity and therefore increasing wealth so we'd rather work with you, planning to avoid this situation than it becoming a problem later.

Article here