Dr Louise Overton

Dr Louise Overton

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Associate Professor in Social Policy
Director of the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM)

Contact details

School of Social Policy
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Louise is an Associate Professor in Social Policy and Director of the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM). Her research interests focus on older people and personal finance (and personal finance-related issues), including financial security, financial advice, and the regulation of consumer financial services.

Louise’s research is strongly empirical, but against a backdrop of welfare privatisation and the individualisation of economic risk, she is also interested in more normative questions concerning the role of, and balance of responsibility between, the state, the market, and the individual for later life financial well-being.

Louise has carried out extensive research on the role and relevance of housing wealth as a source of retirement finance, with a particular emphasis on equity release. Her published work in this area has gained widespread press coverage, and has been used by the Financial Conduct Authority, the equity release industry and its trade body, as well as in the development of Age UK’s Equity Release Advice Service.

Prior to joining the University of Birmingham, Louise worked as a Research Fellow on a major, multi-disciplinary, Leverhulme-funded project: Mind the (Housing) Wealth Gap: Intergenerational Justice and Family Welfare ’at the Universities of Durham and Essex.


  • PhD in Social Policy (More than just a home: Exploring the role of equity release in later life, ESRC and Age UK) University of Birmingham, 2012
  • MA Social Policy, University of Birmingham, 2007
  • BSocSc (Hons) Social Policy, University of Manchester, 2004


  • Social Research I

  • Dissertation Module (UG and PG)

  • Social Policy Pathway Placement

  • Global Issues: Perspectives from Policy, Politics and Economics

  • Introduction to Applied Social Research (MA)


Research interests

  • Older people and personal finance
  • Privatisation of welfare
  • Risk and Regulation


NIHR/SSCR Development of a decision support tool for older people who pay for social care, and their families, June 2021 to June 2023 (£330,682)

Standard Life Foundation, Pension Decision-Making in the New Retirement Landscape, Jan 2021 to Jan 2022 (£77,000) 

NIHR/RfpBFinding and Funding Social Care: A qualitative study of the experiences of self-funders,May 2019 to May 2021 (£269,472)  

Other activities

Louise is a member of the Early and Mid Career Research Panel of the influential think-tank; the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK).

She is also currently an advisory group member on the IF Project (Independent Financial advice about funding social care in later life) at Social Policy Research Unit, University of York



Rowlingson, R., Overton, L. and Cook, J. Housing and Intergenerational Relations: Family Support and the Mixed Economy of Housing in the UK, in Ronald, R and Arundel, R. (eds.) (2022) Families, Housing and Property Wealth in a Neoliberal World, London: Routledge


Baxter, K., Mann, R., Birks, Y. and Overton, L., 2021. A Scoping Review of Evidence on the Use and Effectiveness of Decision Aids in Adult Social Care. Journal of Long-Term Care, (2021), pp.100–113. DOI: DOI:10.31389/jltc.56


Overton, L. and O’Mahony, L. (2018) Stakeholder Conceptions of Later-Life Consumer Vulnerability in the Financial Services Industry: Beyond Financial Capability? Journal of Consumer Policy, 41,3, 273-295. DOI:10.1007/s10603-018-9375-2

Overton, L., O’Mahony, L. and Gibson, M. (2018) ‘The emotional dimension of trading on home in later life: Experiences of shame, guilt and pride’ in S. Bahun and B.Petric (eds.) Thinking Home: Interdisciplinary Dialogues, London: Bloomsbury


Overton, L and Fox O'Mahony, L (2017) Understanding Attitudes to Paying for Care Amongst Equity Release Consumers: Citizenship, solidarity and the 'hardworking homeowner' Journal of Social Policy, 46, 1, 49–67 doi:10.1017/S0047279416000416

Rowlingson, K, Joseph, R. and Overton, L. (2017) Intergenerational Financial Giving and Inequality: Give and Take in 21st Century Families, Basingstoke: Palgrave.


Overton, L and Fox O’Mahony, L (2015) Consumer Demand for Retirement Borrowing, London: Council for Mortgage Lenders.

Overton, L and Fox O’Mahony, L (2015) The Future of the UK Equity Release Market: Consumer Insights and Stakeholder Perspectives, Essex University.

Fox O’Mahony, L and Overton, L (2015) ‘Asset-based welfare, equity release and the meaning of the owned home’, Housing Studies, online at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02673037.2014.963523.

Fox O’Mahony, L and Overton, L (2015) ‘Releasing Housing Equity in Later Life: Markets, Consumers and the Role of the State’, Ageing and the Law, Law in Context Special Issue, 33(2) 115-141.


Fox O’Mahony, L and Overton, L (2014) ‘Financial advice, differentiated consumers and the regulation of equity release transactions’, Journal of Law and Society, 41(3), 446-469.


Overton, L (2012) ‘Le rôle des prêts viagers hypothécaires chez les seniors: études de cas au Royaume-Uni’ (Exploring the role of equity release in later life: Experiences from the UK), Retraite et Société, No. 62, pp. 81-103.


Overton, L (2010) Housing and Finance in Later Life: A study of UK equity release customers, London: Age UK.

Overton, L and Doling, J (2010) ‘Reverse mortgage borrowers: Characteristics and motives’ in Hypostat, 2009, published in November 2010.

Doling, J and Overton, L (2010) The European Commission’s Green Paper: reverse mortgages as a source of retirement income, Wiadomosci Ubezpieczeniowe, No. 3, pp.45-59.

View all publications in research portal


Louise’s research interests focus on older people and personal finance (and personal finance-related issues), including financial security, financial advice, and the regulation of consumer financial services.