Most people would hope to pay off their mortgage by the time they retire. However if a recent study by Saga Equity Release Service is to be believed, thousands of people are still paying theirs off beyond the age of 70. The research reveals that one in seven of those questioned (a total of 1,500 homeowners) are still making mortgage payments. The figure rises to one in three of those aged 50 or over. Of those in the first group, the average amount still to pay off is around £40,000. An inability to move to a cheaper mortgage According to the research there are several reasons why some people have been left with a mortgage to pay off well into their retirement years. Age restrictions have been introduced by many lenders. These are tied up with the Mortgage Market Review rules that came in during 2014. Some older people looking to switch to a cheaper mortgage deal have been unable to do so as a result. This has left them paying higher monthly amounts than they may otherwise have been able to do. Rising house prices Many people are aware that house prices have increased in recent times. This has also potentially led to difficulties for some. Even if they downsize they still find themselves paying for a more expensive property than they may have hoped for. In turn it doesnt leave as big a possibility to clear the outstanding mortgage or have more cash left to enjoy into retirement. The importance of looking for an alternative deal It is possible to pay off a mortgage earlier if it allows overpayments and is offered with a good interest rate. Those who have been on the same deal for many years may be paying over the odds for their mortgage. While the new MMR rules have made getting a mortgage more difficult for some, it isnt impossible for older people to switch. Certainly, you would lose nothing by trying. The most important thing is to look over the entire market. There are lesser-known mortgage lenders who may offer cheaper deals that allow overpayments in order to clear the mortgage faster. It is certainly worth evaluating all the possibilities in this situation. A rough ride for those beyond retirement age Those who are still making mortgage payments into their seventies will certainly find their standard of living squeezed. Money that would have gone towards having a better quality of life at this age will instead be funnelled towards making mortgage payments instead. It makes sense then to look at all the options to see whether there is any way this could be changed. For some, a better mortgage deal might be a distant possibility. For others the option of looking at a lifetime mortgage might pay dividends. No situation will be ideal for everyone. However it looks as though some people will be paying their mortgage long into their seventies regardless of what they do.