Top 10 tips
1. Consider your alternatives
We know that what’s right for some of us in retirement is not always the case for others. That’s why, if you decide to book an initial appointment
with one of our equity release advisers, they’ll ensure you consider alternative options.
Some alternatives to equity release:
- Downsizing - Selling and moving to another property
- Other financial borrowing - Consider other forms of borrowing such as a conventional loan or mortgage
- Use other savings or investments - Think about your personal finances
- Assistance from family members - Your loved ones may be able to help
- Claiming all available benefits - Make sure you're getting all the benefits you're entitled to
2. Inheritance protection
Some of our equity release plans come with inheritance protection, which enables you to ring-fence a portion of your home's future value to guarantee an inheritance for your loved ones.
If you have family, and leaving them an inheritance is important to you, these plans can offer a way to release equity while guaranteeing some of your future property value is available to be passed on to your beneficiaries.
3. Consider making partial repayments
Making partial repayments is an effective way of reducing the long-term cost of a lifetime mortgage - the most popular form of equity release. Some of our plans allow you to make partial repayments. Any repayment you can make can reduce the long-term cost of borrowing.
4. Talk to your family
Talking to your family before considering equity release isn't something you have to do, but it is something that we always strongly recommend. If you decide to involve them, you can talk with them at each point in the process.
If you don't want or are unable to involve family, we recommend talking to a trusted friend. Of course, if you'd like to speak to us alone, we'll always respect your decision.
5. Find out how much you could release
We have a free-to-use and no-obligation equity release calculator
. You can use this tool to discover if you're eligible for equity release, how much cash you could potentially unlock from your home, and which plans could be available to you.
Using this tool to find out how much you could release and whether you'd be able to proceed with an equity release plan could save you time.
6. Think about how much you need to borrow
As our equity release advisers will explain, you should only borrow for the things you need. Whilst you can use equity release for any purpose, it is important you make a detailed list of your spending plans as this could influence the type of plan that best suits your needs.
If you want the money all at once you could opt for a lump sum lifetime mortgage. If you want to take out an initial amount, and then release further funds as and when you need to, you might choose a drawdown lifetime mortgage.
7. Your property valuation
The amount of money you can borrow will depend on your age, your health and lifestyle, as well as the value of your current home. If you decide to go ahead with an equity release plan, your home will be valued by an independent RICS registered surveyor. This valuation is important to help us consider the maximum loan available to you.
8. Will you want to move in the future?
If you believe you may wish to move home after taking out an equity release plan, this is something you should discuss with your adviser. All of our plans meet the Equity Release Council standards, meaning you can move home and transfer your existing plan to your new property, subject to criteria.
9. Impact on means-tested benefits
The cash released using equity release could impact your eligibility for means-tested benefits, immediately, or in the future. Our advisers will undertake a full benefits assessment during the equity release process to ensure you know exactly how you will be affected.
10. Get advice tailored to you
If you wish to go ahead with equity release, you have to take advice. It's a regulatory requirement. This is important for you to make sure you are making the right decision, and to find the right plan for you.
Our equity release advice is unique to you and your needs, delivered by fully-qualified equity release experts, and free of charge.