The emotional dimension of trading on home in later life::Experiences of shame, guilt and pride

Abstract

Financial services, including home finance products which borrow against the value of the owned home, are increasingly positioned as a key feature in older people’s lives. As our population ages, welfare reform policies that have retrenched public provision of income security, housing and social care, require individuals to take greater responsibility (and bear greater risk) for their financial needs in retirement. Yet, the emotional dimension of housing debt, particularly for older people who struggle financially, has largely been overlooked in the discourse of asset-based welfare. This is surprising, in light of the wealth of literature focusing on the emotional dimensions of housing and home, and the heightened influence of affective reasoning for older people’s financial decision-making. The emotional effects of equity release transactions come into sharp relief as they intersect with an ideal of ‘active citizenship’ that marks out financial self-provision as an indicator of success. This paper draws on new qualitative research to explore the roles of shame, guilt and pride in equity release transactions, to reflect on the emotional dimensions of trading on the home in later life, and to consider the implications for policy and practice in financial services

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Last time updated on 14/12/2019

This paper was published in University of Birmingham Research Portal.

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