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If my husband doesn't die in the next four years, I will be destitute.

(106 Posts)
Bobdoesit Mon 16-Sep-19 12:03:39

My husband and I have our own home which is paid for but maintaining it and paying rates etc., is a struggle with our two government pensions. When my husband dies, I will not be able to afford to live here. I would have to sell up and move to a smaller place which is fine, although not an ideal time to move. But to add to my worries, my husband has just told me his life insurance ends in four years, and he won’t be renewing it as he simply can’t afford it. I wish we could move into a smaller place now, but there are five houses for sale on our estate and three of them have been up for sale for over two years plus my husband doesn't want to move. I hope to persuade him to take out another life insurance policy, but he tells me it’s impossible as they all charge the earth and anyway he will only be able to insure himself for a very small amount like £1000, so it’s all pointless. I’m at a loss to know what to do. Does anyone have any thoughts on decent inexpensive life cover that maybe I could take out? It’s awful to hope he dies in the next four years or better yet I do, but that is what it’s coming down to.

gillybob Mon 16-Sep-19 12:12:01

I completely understand your situation Bobdoesit as my DH are in a similar boat.

DH's life insurance ended 2 years ago just after he had a stroke. The company refused another policy. We tried several other insurance companies but all refused on medical grounds. Therefor no life insurance. We still have a mortgage and a 10 year age gaps means I cannot retire for another 10 years (he's almost 68 and I'm 57) . The house is a 2 bedroom terrace in the North East, so isn't worth a lot anyway. Pointless thinking of downsizing as by the time we cleared the mortgage there would be nothing left.

If you do happen to find any life cover you will be very lucky. I have given up trying.

Lona Mon 16-Sep-19 12:52:03

I know how you feel bob, I can only afford to live until I’m 80, (73 now), as I won’t be eligible for much in the way of benefits, and my rent will have used up all my capital. 😳
Unfortunately I’m incredibly healthy! 😟

Luckygirl Mon 16-Sep-19 12:57:49

It is very difficult to get a new insurance policy when you are older - my OH has none and is in a slowly terminal state. I know that when he dies (if I am still on my perch) I will have to sell the bungalow. Or - and you might like to consider this - take out some sort of equity release/lifetime mortgage on the property. That is currently on the cards for us as his care is draining the little savings we had.

I have decided that the only thing to do is to srtide on into the future and not worry too much. What will be will be.

Razzy Mon 16-Sep-19 13:30:53

Have you looked at Retirement Mortgages? You can get a lump sum paid to you, secured on the house, and repayments can be quite small. It would certainly buy you time to decide if you want to move. Or could you rent out a room? There are even schemes that match an older person to a student and they can help out. Retirement Mortgage is not the same as equity release, which is another option.

annsixty Mon 16-Sep-19 13:41:58

I find this thread deeply disturbing and deeply depressing I can offer no solution or even comfort.

gillybob Mon 16-Sep-19 13:55:54

Yes me too annsixty . We are trying to save a little bit a month to pay for the funeral expenses of whoever goes first. The cheapest and most basic package available. Depending on how much we manage to save (and it won't be a lot) The funeral of the second one to go, will have to be paid from the proceeds of selling our home, although can't imagine any funeral director waiting that long to be paid.

humptydumpty Mon 16-Sep-19 14:01:05

bob, do look at retirement mortgages

seems to me it might give you a lifeline

EllanVannin Mon 16-Sep-19 14:05:21

It's a situation that doesn't seem to have come up anywhere and one which really needs looking into.
I think your husband is going to have to be realistic about selling your home, sad as it is but better than carrying on the way you are.
Instead of looking to re-purchase, go down the supported housing road. These are reduced rented homes, independent living, own front door flats/apartments, but help if/when needed, medically or financially.

Many people go for this type of housing and you don't have to be poor, homeless or aged. A lot have sold properties and are living the high-life on the proceeds while being secure at the same time and paying a cheaper rent.

Gonegirl Mon 16-Sep-19 14:11:53

If you stayed in your home your council tax would be reduced by 25%. You would have your government pension, and could apply for pension credits. Your circumstances would be straitened but probably liveable with. Perhaps you could release some equity on your house and get it safely (expertly) invested to provide an income.

Welshwife Mon 16-Sep-19 14:16:41

Would it be any help to go and have a chat about any available options by talking to citizens advice or Age U.K. often these places have expert help available and they could also let you know if you are eligible for any extra payments.

annsixty Mon 16-Sep-19 14:18:50

Releasing equity can stop you from getting all the benefits you may be entitled to.
It is counted as capital and must be used before benefits kick in.

MamaCaz Mon 16-Sep-19 14:24:16

Just a thought, Bobdoesit

It does depend what rate of government pension you are on, but it might be that whichever of you outlives the other would be on a low enough income to get Pension Credit, meaning that some costs, such as Council Tax, would be paid for you.
At the moment, a single pensioner can get this if their total income is below £167.25 a week, but that figure changes annually.

I presume that your pensions as a couple add up to more than the current couple's eligibility level of £255.25 per week?

Daisymae Mon 16-Sep-19 15:28:32

I wonder if going to get advice from the citizens advice bureau might be worth considering. At least someone could look at your finances. I think perhaps you could look at your expenditure and see if you can make some savings ie are you getting the best deal from utilities? If you really can't move then equity release may also be worth considering. But do get some personal advice first. It seems that although selling a house is difficult at the moment, a house will find a buyer if the price is right.

paddyann Mon 16-Sep-19 15:31:54

there was someone on here recently who said her husband had just taken out £200.000 life insurance so someone must sell to older folk .Maybe someone will remeber the post and be able to advise you

HildaW Mon 16-Sep-19 15:42:45

annsixty, think I'm with you - and I shall not return to this thread.

gillybob Mon 16-Sep-19 15:48:04

Blimey I don’t think the OP was wishing her DH dead ! Jeez .

I want my DH to live forever . Neither of us have any LI anyway so neither of us are worth anything ( financially) to each other.

I have to admit it would be a small comfort to think we could at least get enough LI cover to pay for our funerals .

trisher Mon 16-Sep-19 15:55:31

As I don't have a DH, have only a tiny pension and my state pension ,and I'm living in my own house, it would seem that I am already destitute by some standards! Funny I thought I was just managing. I am probably downsizing soon, simply because I would like to.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 16-Sep-19 16:00:34

annesixty I’m with you on this one, when you say you find this thread deeply disturbing and depressing.

arosebyanyothername Mon 16-Sep-19 16:07:44

Am I missing something? The OP is assuming her DH will die first....

Claudiaclaws Mon 16-Sep-19 16:16:58

If myhusband dies before me, which he probably will do, he's 80 and I am 70 I don't know how I'll manage. We still have a mortgage. We are thinking of taking equity release, not too much though. We need a downstairs loo desperately, the only way we could do that would be to have a small conservatory and use part of that.
Our stairs are too narrow for a Stannah stair lift, but if it was just a matter of going up to bed once a day I could probaby cope.
It's awful isn't it, the worry of managing. All these youngsrera who keep saying wer'e all ok, haven't got a clue.

Gonegirl Mon 16-Sep-19 16:23:43

I think the OP is exaggerating how badly off she is likely to be if she is the one left. If you have a fully paid up house, as she has, there would be plenty of equity available to live on for the rest of your life. So long,of course, it was managed properly.

It's people in rented accommodation that are the ones that would probably need the benefits.

Gonegirl Mon 16-Sep-19 16:34:06

To be fair, I can't see anything distasteful about thinking about your own financial future. The OP is just worried.

petra Mon 16-Sep-19 16:44:26

Never assume anything where age and death are concerned.
My Mother in law was 8yrs older than her husband. He died aged 58 she lived until mid 90s.
Right now my dearest friend is looking after her Mother (88) while her father ( 78) is seriously ill in hospital.

M0nica Mon 16-Sep-19 16:55:32

I am very unclear about the exact situation of a number of the people contributing to the this thread, but the first thing that occurs to me is that none of them seem to have spoken to Age Concern or Citizen's Advice to find out about what benefits and help they would be entitled to if the worst case scenario they picture comes to pass. I suspect most of them may be entitled to more help than they assume

Several posters have referred to equity release and other types of specialist finance for older people and these too would be worth investigating. The range of products now available is much wider than it was and Age UK has Factsheets on this subject.