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Real-life equity release stories: The bucket list
Globetrotting is always something 75-year-old Carole Anthony has done. She and her late husband, John, travelled far and wide. 
John worked for P&O Cruises and together, he and Carole took full advantage of the staff discount on offer. It meant the couple could leave their London home and explore the furthest reaches of the world. After John passed away, a little more than a decade ago following a battle with dementia, Carole wanted to make sure she didn’t just get stuck at home. 

Doing the bucket list

“When my husband died 10 years ago, I decided I was going to do a bucket list,” said Carole, who now lives in Clacton-on-Sea. “I listed out all the things I wanted to do before I pass away. 
“I always used to be very shy. Then all of a sudden, I found the guts to do the things I always wanted to do. So, I did them. 

New York and beyond

“I went to New York last year with my friend. It was amazing,” Carole told us. “We went at the best time, after Thanksgiving when they put the Christmas tree up in the Rockefeller Center. 
“I love that building. It gives you the most amazing view of the city. I find it’s much better than the Empire State Building. You haven’t seen Christmas until you’ve seen it in New York.

New York skyline at night“Another time, we went down to New Orleans for the carnival. It’s incredible. You’ve never seen the streets so alive. Then onto Memphis and the home of country and western, Nashville.”
But it wasn’t just the USA that attracted Carole. Her love for horses and riding played a big part in her next adventure. 

The horse whisperer

“I’ve not long come back from South America,” she explained. “We went to Brazil and Argentina. 
“While we were there, we went to a gaucho ranch, which is their equivalent of a cowboy ranch. You get to ride the horses and the saddles are amazing compared to home. It’s like sitting in an armchair! 

Jockey riding a horse“There was also a horse whisperer. He was incredible. The things he got the horse to do were unbelievable!
“While we were there, I also went to the Amazon river. I took a three-day excursion there by boat. It’s something I have never experienced before. You’re surrounded by crocodiles. You live in wooden shacks. It’s such a thrill. 

Amazon river

Not over yet

South Africa is another place Carole ticked off while exploring the globe. And even though her original bucket list has been completed, she’s far from done. 
“South Africa was something else,” she told us. “I’ll never have to go to a zoo again. I saw so many amazing animals in the flesh. Elephants, lions, and, my personal favourite, giraffes, as well as so many others. It was something I’ll never forget.

Elephants in Africa“Later this year, I’m off exploring again. This time Hong Kong. Then who knows? I’ve always wanted to go to Japan, so maybe that’s next. 

A leap of faith

However, Carole’s bucket list has been more than travelling. Since first releasing equity from her home two-and-a-half years ago, her time has been filled with exhilarating experiences here in the UK, too, some for charity. 
“I’ve screeched around a race track in extremely fast cars and I’ve done a tandem sky dive for charity,” Carole told us. 
“It was for a little girl who needed an operation in the United States. And it worked. I raised £3,000 for her. It was amazing. 

Christ the Redeemer, Brazil“I knew her before I did it. She was a very intelligent girl and I wanted to make a difference. We’re still in touch.”
When Carole initially drew up her bucket list, there was only one problem. But it was a big one. She couldn’t afford to do it all.
That’s where equity release and Key came in. 


“I spoke to one of Key’s equity release advisers,” Carole recalled. “He was very nice and very interesting. He told me all I needed to know and explained everything.  “I’m so glad I took out equity release. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to do all these things. 
“I would definitely recommend equity release. And I would recommend Key. The people who came to my home were extremely friendly and helpful. They were fantastic.
  • Change your life
  • Just like Carole, it’s easy to find out how equity release might change your life, too. Use our free calculator to see how much tax-free cash you could release from your home and begin your equity release journey with Key. 
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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, the most popular form of equity release, 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 equity release 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 advice fee of £1,499 – is payable only on completion.
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  • Complete your bucket list with equity release. Request your free guide to find out how. 
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