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Survey sees Solas still in the dark

Nearly three-quarters of single, older women are unaware of the range of financial products available to them, according to research by RJ Temple.

It found that 73 per cent of unmarried or widowed older women were in the dark or sceptical of products to boost their incomes, such as equity release.

The IFA commissioned the survey to help identify the needs of this sector, which it has dubbed Sola – single, older ladies with assets.

It says its consultants typically find elderly widows working to top up their pension while living in houses which could generate extra funds through equity release.

None of the women aged over 55 surveyed had or would consider equity release as a way of increasing income.

Only 5 per cent showed any interest in planning for possible long-term care needs, and just 2 per cent of respondents said they could see the benefits of inheritance tax planning.

RJ Temple says the results confirm its long-held suspicion that the financial needs of single, older women are being overlooked by advisers.

Communications manager Liz Walkington says: “We have long recognised the need for specialist financial advice in the Sola market.

“The research clearly shows that single, older women are very much unaware of the benefits and availability of what are mainstream options.”

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