Equity release is an ever-increasingly popular method to release a tax-free lump sum, or additional income, from your property. The value of your home, minus any outstanding mortgage, can be described as your ‘equity’. In order to qualify for an equity release scheme, you must be a homeowner over the age of 55, or if the property is jointly owned then both parties must be over 55.
An equity-release plan is a way of accessing extra cash without having to move home. With nearly all equity release plans there are no repayments to make and with the most popular form of equity release, a lifetime mortgage, you continue to own all of your home. Plans all come with a ‘no-negative equity guarantee’ which means you can never owe more than your home is worth, and some plans include an option to guarantee an inheritance.
The money raised can be used for any purpose, including:
- Paying off your mortgage
- Making home improvements
- One-off purchases such as a car, caravan or holiday
- Paying off credit cards or loans
- Enjoying a more comfortable retirement
- Helping out friends or family members
TYPES OF EQUITY RELEASE SCHEMES
A lifetime mortgage allows you to release a lump sum of cash or regular extra income from the value of your property. There are typically no monthly repayments to make as the amount that you have released, plus any interest, is repaid from the money made when the property is sold. Generally this is when you die, move into long-term care or permanently leave the property.
Drawdown Lifetime Mortgage
This is similar to the standard lifetime mortgage. However, with the drawdown lifetime mortgage, you can access your money with more flexibility. Rather than just receiving a lump sum, you have the option to release your cash over time, as and when you need it. Because you only pay interest on the cash that you have taken, these plans can often prove to be more cost-effective.
Interest-Only Lifetime Mortgage
This is like a standard lifetime mortgage. However, you make regular monthly repayments to reduce the effect on the value of your estate. Some plans allow you to make repayments that are equal to or less than the amount of interest that is charged. The balance is paid off from the value of your estate once you have died or have moved into long-term care.
Home Reversion Plan
A home reversion plan allows you to exchange the ownership of some or all of your property for a lump sum of cash, along with the right to stay in the property, free of charge, for as long as you live. This is also known as a ‘lifetime lease’ and there are no monthly repayments to make. Because you can continue living in your home, rent-free, for life, you would generally receive an amount for your property that is lower than its market value.
WHAT SHOULD YOU CONSIDER?
- It is important to get specialist equity release advice and discuss:
- How equity release will affect the value of your estate and the amount you will be able to pass on to beneficiaries
- How the funds released could affect your entitlement to any means-tested benefits you may receive either now or in the future
- Alternatives to equity release such as downsizing or taking in a lodger
- Any charges that you may incur if you wish to pay off an equity release plan early
OUR EQUITY RELEASE SERVICE
We have teamed up with one of the UK’s leading equity release specialists, Age Partnership, to assist you in deciding if it is right for you and, if so, search the market for the scheme that best meets your individual needs and circumstances.
Age Partnership provides initial advice and an equity release recommendation for free and without obligation. Only if you choose to proceed and your equity release application completes would a typical fee of 1.5% of the amount released be payable.
WHY USE OUR EQUITY RELEASE SERVICE?
- Provides holistic approach to financial advice
- All advisers are fully qualified and experienced
- Multi-award winning service
- We provide no-obligation quotation and don’t charge for advice unless you choose to proceed with our recommendation.
- We offer preferential and exclusive rates that are not available elsewhere
- Our service has have a high level of customer satisfaction, and have been awarded the highest possible Investor in Customers (IIC) rating which independently classes their service as ‘exceptional’.
- Our Equity Release service is fully independent and offers whole-of- market advice
- We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and are a member of the Equity Release Council.
Equity release may involve a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan. To understand the features and risks ask for a personalised illustration.