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How equity release could help support you in retirement
Coming to the end of your working life is often regarded something to celebrate. No more early starts, rush hour traffic jams or collections for strangers’ birthdays. 
But what if it’s not? What if you’re retiring and it’s only the start of your worries?
That may be the case if you’re retiring without a pension. And if you are, you certainly wouldn’t be alone. 
Last year, one in eight people who retired did so with no pension savings to draw on1. Some may have money tucked away elsewhere. But not everyone. 
Of those who retired in 2018, one in 10 will rely on the State Pension as their only source of income1. Currently, that’s £168.60 a week to see them through2. And it’s £40 less than the average UK pensioner’s weekly spend3.
This is a problem that causes some to look elsewhere for financial support. It may even explain the sharp rise in 55-74-year olds using unsecured debt. 
Between 2014 and 2018, there was an increase of more than a third in the number of that age bracket using credit cards, unsecured loans and the like4. And if there’s no way to keep up the repayments, it could leave you in an uncomfortable situation. 
Even if your weekly income is enough to get you by, that doesn’t mean you’re living the life you worked hard for. 

Is there another way? 

One way to tackle a low pension income or lack of savings is equity release
Using some of the tax-free cash tied up in your home can be a great way to give you the retirement you dreamt of on those grim Monday mornings when you’d head off to work.
With a lifetime mortgage, the most popular form of equity release, you can either take the cash in one lump sum or in smaller chunks following an initial withdrawal. It can even be used as a regular income, should you need to top up. 
The cash you release is yours to spend as you wish. If you want to make home improvements, pay off existing debts or fancy that dream holiday, equity release could help. 
But before you go ahead, you must first seek advice. It’s a regulatory requirement. That’s where we come in. 
At Key, we’ve helped more than 1 million people decide whether equity release is right for them5. Over your two no-obligation appointments, which might be face-to-face or over the phone, depending on your preference, one of our independent, expert advisers will go through everything you need to know. 
If they believe equity release is right for you, they’ll look at the whole market to find the most suitable plan. And they’ll give you all the information you need to make an informed decision. 
What’s more, if they don’t think it’s right for you, they’ll tell you. 
After all, good advice is Key.
It’s easy to see how much you might be able to release from your home using our free and simple online equity release calculator.
If you’d like to arrange an appointment with one of our expert equity release advisers, you can request a call back here

What should you consider before taking out equity release?

Our independent, specialist equity release advisers will discuss all the options available to you. They will 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 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. 
All 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 should always think carefully before securing a loan against your home. 
Key’s initial consultations are 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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