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Mark Gilbert

An Englishman's Home Is an Unreliable Pension Plan

Why you can't expect your home to fund your retirement.
U.K. House Prices Eke Out Gains as Fewer Sales Are Agreed
Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

"A man's house is his castle," Sir Edward Coke wrote back in the 17th century. These days, Britons are relying on their properties not just for refuge but also to fund their retirements. It's a strategy that could backfire badly.

Along with the rest of the world, the U.K. has an aging population: a growing number of retirees are being supported by a shrinking pool of workers. The U.K.'s dependency ratio -- calculated by adding together the over 65s and under 15s, then dividing by the working-age population and multiplying by 100 -- will rise to 60 percent by 2027. That's up from 55 percent in 2017 and from 54 percent in 1997.