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What is equity release and how does it work?

Equity release retirement planning

Equity release retirement planning

The first thing you need to consider is that equity release is only open to homeowners who are over the age of 55. The scheme allows you release equity from your home without the benefit of having to make any monthly repayments and with the benefit of still being able to live in your home. Equity release schemes are a safe and protected way to realise the wealth and equity tied up in your home and provide a welcome solution for many who wish to use equity release as part of their pension planning.

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Protected by the Financial Conduct Authority

The 2 types of equity release schemes available are home reversion plans and lifetime mortgages. Both of these products are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and therefore can only be arranged and advised upon by a regulated financial or equity release advisor.

Approved equity release experts

Our approved equity release experts are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide independent advice on the range of equity release solutions available. Our experts are also members of the Equity Release Council and work within the code of conduct.

Lifetime mortgages

Mortgage repayments and interest and be repaid from your estate

Mortgage repayments and interest and be repaid from your estate

A lifetime mortgage is a type of mortgage you take out whereby there is no requirement for you to make repayments like a conventional standard mortgage. With a lifetime mortgage the interest and payments are rolled up and are paid out of your estate when you die or go into long term care such as a care or nursing home.

With a lifetime mortgage you retain full control and ownership of your home and if you are a couple both of you are entitled to live in your home until the last person dies or moves into full time care. This gives you the security and peace of mind that your home will be yours to live in as long as it remains your main residence.

With a lifetime mortgage you can take a lump sum payment or regular smaller payments (see: drawdown lifetime mortgages). With this type of product you can also change and increase the amount of equity you wish to withdraw and this can be arranged with your scheme provider up to a maximum limit.

Read more about lifetime mortgages.

Protected lifetime mortgages – leaving an inheritance to your loved ones

A protected lifetime mortgage means that you can protect some of the value of your property so that you are able to live an inheritance to your children, family or anyone you wish. This gives you the benefit of enjoying the financial rewards of equity release while at same time being able to leave an inheritance to your loved ones.

Read more about protected lifetime mortgages

Home reversion plans – how do they compare against a lifetime mortgage?

Trade a percentage of your homes value for a cash sum today.

Trade a percentage of your homes value for a cash sum today.

Home reversion plans work differently to a lifetime mortgage. With a home reversion plan you actually surrender a percentage of your home in return for a cash lump sum amount today or regular payments for a period of time. Unlike a loan or remortgage there are no upfront repayments to make or interest charges on the lump sum you receive.

How much money can I receive for my homes equity?

The amount you will be able to receive will vary of a range of factors such as your age, your health condition and the value of your property. In most cases you can release between 25% and 100% of your home’s value as a one of cash sum or as regular payments over a period of time. Our equity release experts will be able to provide you with an accurate quote and full details of the costs of the plan and how it works in further detail.

With a home reversion plan you can continue to treat and live in your home as you would have done normally. The plan provider will grant you a lifetime lease which will guarantee that you can continue to live in your home rent free for the rest of your life as long it remains your main residence. At the end of the scheme your property will be sold and the sale proceeds will be divided as per the ownership percentage split the scheme arrangement.

What are the tax implications to equity release?

Any tax implications will very much depend and very from one person to the next. Our equity release experts will be able to full inform you of any implications and explain in full the advantages and disadvantages of taking out equity release. Your advisor will be able to assess your application and go through any questions you may have.

Read more about tax implications

Will equity release affect any of my benefit entitlements?

When done correctly there should be no implications regarding any benefits you may receive. However an equity release expert will fully assess your situation and explain and discuss with you any implications taking out an equity release scheme may have on your benefits entitlement.

Read more about equity release and benefits.

What type of equity release scheme is right for me?

Professional advice and guidance

Professional advice and guidance

Our advisors will be happy to explain each scheme in further detail and provide advice on both the advantages and disadvantages for each. Which scheme is right for you will very much depend on your personal circumstances and therefore getting professional regulated advice is essential. Our advisors will provide you with a full quote and details of the scheme so you can fully understand and digest what is involved and the costs and implications of taking out an equity release plan.

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