Quality of life drives equity release

Nia Williams

December 2, 2009

The flexibility provided by equity release means money unlocked can be used for a variety of reasons. Saga customers have been taking the opportunity to clear outstanding borrowing and then use the rest of the money to live a comfortable and fulfilling life.

Generally people use equity release for two or more separate reasons. Clearing existing debt is the most common, with 40% of people saying this is one of the ways they intend to spend the money, 20% give on average £27,000 to their family and over a third (34%) use some of the funds to buy holidays or pursue other leisure activities.

A third of people use a portion of the equity they release to pay off their mortgage, lowering their monthly outgoings and allowing them to enjoy their retirement with fewer financial constraints.

The old saying, ‘an Englishman’s home is his castle’ clearly rings true among the over-60s across Britain, as over half (52%) of homeowners using equity release use some of the money to enhance their surroundings and make home improvements, spending on average £11,000 each.

Alex Edmans, Saga Personal Finance, commented: “It’s not all doom and gloom. Our findings dispel the often held myth that equity release is just a last resort for cash strapped pensioners, when in fact people use the capital in their home to enjoy life, not just to get by.”

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