KRS reveals top issues to consider on equity release

Amanda Jarvis

January 10, 2006

The research revealed that 45 per cent of consumers say that equity release will partially fund their retirement*. As the beginning of a New Year is the peak time for people to review their financial circumstances, and possibly consider the pros and cons of whether equity release is a solution for them,  KRS has compiled a list of the top ten issues that should be considered prior to a consumer speaking to an adviser about equity release. 

Top Ten Tips:
1.Speak to your spouse – Before deciding to research equity release, make sure that you have thoroughly discussed this option and have some idea as to what you both want to achieve from equity release. 

2.Retirement income – Review your current income and how it will grow over the next few years, if at all. Are you coping financially or do you need additional income?  

3.State Benefits – What are you currently receiving? Is there any more you could be getting? What is the likelihood of these payments changing?

4.Identify your needs – Draw up a list of your needs, which may include house improvements, outstanding bill payments and visiting family overseas. Can you afford to pay for these out of your pension and savings? Or do you need additional funding?

5.Consider your future needs – When quantifying your needs, look at what you need now (money to pay an outstanding mortgage) and what you may need in the future (a new kitchen).  Make a list of priorities! Have you also considered potential long-term care needs?

6.Consider downsizing – Emotional attachment to your current home can be a massive factor when deciding on equity release, but could downsizing allow you to free up the capital you need?  Are you going to want to move in the future?

7.Inheritance – Would you prefer to enjoy the cash with your family whilst you can, or leave the majority behind in your will?  Are you going to upset family members with your choices?

8.Speak to your family and friends – Discuss your interest in equity release with your family as they maybe able to help you with your finances or be able to provide an alternative to equity release. Also, speak to a friend who’s used an equity release plan as someone else’s experience can be invaluable.

9.Research the topic – There is a great deal of information on equity release available from sources like free guides and the financial pages of the national newspapers. This will help you to understand the products more fully and allow you to answer your adviser’s questions more easily.

10.Consider doing nothing – If you have reviewed all the pros and cons of equity release and do not feel that it will provide you with any significant benefits, then it is probably not right for you and you should consider other options.

Consumers who have followed these tips are now ready to consult an independent financial adviser about what equity release can offer them. Dean Mirfin, business director at Key Retirement Solutions, commented: “Choosing to release equity from your home is a huge decision and one which needs to be considered carefully. With this in mind, we’ve complied this list of top ten tips to help consumers consider all their options before they choose to visit an IFA.

“Equity release is not the most appropriate product for everyone and we hope that by highlighting these areas which need to be considered, consumers (with the help of their IFAs) will find it easier to identify and meet their own retirement funding needs.”

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