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Real-life stories: From Spain to the States and back again
After retiring, David and Mary Harrison set their sights on exploration. Thanks to equity release, they did just that

Throughout their working lives, the Harrisons always dreamed of seeing more of the world. Trips to Catalonia with a caravan in tow were regular events in the years leading up to their retirement. But jet-setting around the world was not. 

Until last summer.

“We spent almost three weeks on America’s west coast,” Mary, a former hospital clerk, told us over the phone. “It was an amazing trip.”

“We drove down the west coast, from San Francisco to Las Vegas. Vegas was the last stop. We saw the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and many other incredible sights.

“The last three days we were going to spend in Vegas, that was always the plan. We stayed in the Flamingo hotel; opposite Caesar’s Palace. It was beautiful. 

“In between leaving San Francisco and getting there, we didn’t book anything. We just drove down and if we found somewhere we liked, we stopped.”

Having the freedom to hop down America’s Pacific coast, driving right through the heart of California on their near 600-mile grand tour, is something many see as just a fantasy. The chance to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and sense of exploration as they travel across the states only dreams. 

Yet David and Mary made it a reality.

“We did Santa Cruz, Carmel, stopped at Santa Barbara – which was absolutely beautiful – and ended up in Santa Monica,” ex-business owner David said. “We did Hollywood and fell in love with Beverly Hills.”

“It was an amazing experience,” added Mary. “Although I was quite upset there were no traditional one-armed slot machines in Las Vegas!” 

Even though the Harrisons had now ticked off a large chunk of America’s west coast on their travels, trips to Catalonia remained frequent. But ahead of yet another jaunt across Europe, they bought a brand-new caravan, which would be waiting for them on arrival. 

“We’ve been going to Spain for 16 years,” Mary explained. “It’s a lovely place.”

“We upgraded our caravan in Spain to the latest model,” David told us. “But when we got there, we didn’t like it! Then when our old caravan was taken away, and we were left with the new one, we fell in love with it.”

Now, with one caravan in Spain and another at their home in the Midlands, David and Mary can tackle the open road whenever they choose. This was all made possible through equity release.

“We were sitting on a lot of money tied up in our home,” Mary said. “We wanted to make use of some of it. Our kids, who we spoke to about it, are already set, and we wanted to do the things we wanted to do.”

Having lived in their home for nine years, David and Mary had their sights fixed firmly on their dream retirement. But they had to overcome some obstacles to get it. 

“We spoke to a general financial adviser at first but he didn’t know much about equity release,” Mary said. “Then someone recommended Key

“We went online, filled out the call back form and that’s how it started. We met with one of Key’s advisers and he was brilliant. He knew everything there was to know about equity release.

“We would definitely recommend Key. In fact, we have. Someone I play badminton with was interested in equity release so I told them about Key. They went ahead and they’re over the moon as well.”

If you’d like to join the Harrisons and the more than 1 million others who have contacted Key to find out whether equity release is right for them1, arrange your free call back today. 

Alternatively, to learn more about equity release and what it could do for you, request your free guide here.

What should you consider before taking out equity release?

Our independent, specialist equity release advisers compare products from the whole of the market to find the most suitable equity release plan for you. They’ll discuss all the options available to you and explain that taking an equity release plan reduces the value of your estate and may affect any means-tested benefits you’re eligible for.

With a lifetime mortgage, you’ll still own your home. It’s a loan secured against your home and is repaid when you, or the last surviving applicant, pass away or move into long-term care. 

Equity release plans we recommend have a no negative equity guarantee, which means you’ll never owe more than the value of your home.

You have to get expert advice before releasing equity; it’s a regulatory requirement. Key’s initial consultation is free with no obligation to proceed. If you decide to go ahead with an equity release plan, our advice fee – usually 1.99% of the amount released, subject to a minimum of £1,499 – is payable only on completion.

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