There are so many uses for Equity Release, from the practical to the personal, and the essential. Everybody is different, and each of you will have your own reasons, needs and ambitions. You have the freedom to choose what to do with the wealth tied up in your home, and here are a few ways that other people have used theirs...
Equity Release for Home ImprovementsThis is often high on the priority list for people who have lived in their home for many years. Things that were new once are now sadly past their best, which can be frustrating, embarrassing or demoralising.
It could be new windows, doors or roof repairs. Or perhaps new carpets, a modern kitchen and a landscaped garden. Using a tax-free lump sum to bring your house up to scratch will make your home look and feel more modern, better-kept and welcoming. Which in turn will increase its value and boost your self-esteem.
Equity Release for Care CostsIf you are staying in your family home and need help with domestic tasks like dressing, cleaning or cooking, then you could get financial help from your local council for carer visits. However, budgets to help pay the people who help you are shrinking, and they are likely to ask you to contribute.
It may seem like a small sum, but the payments add up, and if you are on a limited income you could struggle to afford it in the long term. And of course there are other tasks like gardening and maintenance that you may need to pay someone to help with.
Equity Release could be the way for you to provide a decent level of comfort and dignity for yourself in later life, without having to lean on friends and family.
Equity Release for Mobility EquipmentWe know that most people looking at Equity Release are not thinking of big holidays and a new conservatory. As a lot of people get older, mobility can become an issue. In many cases, people with reduced mobility can get help from their local authority, but often this is just for the basics.
Everyone wants to have a certain level of comfort in their old age, and with Equity Release you would be able to use the tax-free funds to adapt entryways, or to obtain a high-quality stairlift, an adjustable bed, a reclining chair, a mobility scooter, or anything else you need.
Equity Release for Paying Off Your MortgageEquity Release can come in useful for those who face a shortfall when their interest-only mortgage comes to the end of its term. Unfortunately for some, payments over the years may not have added up, or the investments have not returned the value that was necessary, and they get a letter from the bank asking for a large sum they cannot afford on their current income.
Alternatively, if you only have a small portion of your payment mortgage left to run, Equity Release can be a way to replace the current monthly payments with deferred payment of a larger lump sum. This then frees up your day-to-day finances for other things.
Using a Lifetime Mortgage loan secured against your house, you’ll get relief from ongoing debts and have peace of mind, knowing that you can stay in your own home for as long as you need to.
Equity Release for Clearing DebtsSome forms of credit and loans can be very expensive, and if you do not expect to pay them off quickly, then Equity Release might be a better option in the long term. By releasing a tax-free lump sum which is only repayable when your house is sold or if you die or go into care, you could use this money to repay your debts.
You may want to look carefully at the interest rates on both your current debts and the money you could release from the value of your house. If the interest rate on an Equity Release loan is lower than on your line of credit then, in the long term, Equity Release could mean more of your estate is left intact.
As ever, you should discuss everything with an independent financial adviser to make sure all the issues are covered and you understand the comparative costs and risks.
Equity Release for InvestmentsSome of you may have plans and ideas for investments, possibly setting up a new business for yourself or a family member and releasing funds from your house can help you to finance these plans.
You may wish to invest in a friend’s or relative’s business, giving them the valuable cash injection that they need to expand, or you might be interested in buying an investment property or a holiday home. And, if the return on investment from the funds is greater than the interest charged on your loan, then it will look like you’ve made a very wise choice.
However, be careful. Investing in anything can be a gamble, and as financial firms always say: the value of investments can go down as well as up. You might not make your money back.
Equity Release for Helping Your FamilyOne of the most common uses for Equity Release, and certainly the one closest to all our hearts, is using the equity stored in your house to help your family. Getting your children or grandchildren onto the first step of the housing ladder can feel immensely rewarding for you and a huge relief for them. And with property values rising, it makes sense to do it now rather than wait until an inheritance.
Or imagine the freedom you could give to a family with growing children if you were to help them pay off their mortgage. Instead of keeping up mortgage payments, they can think constructively about how to use their money to improve their lives too. Just make sure it’s clear whether any money you give them is a gift, or a loan.
Equity Release for a New Car, Bike, Clothes… Surfboard?The obvious way to improve your life with the money stored in your property is to upgrade your high-value possessions, or add to them. You can use a tax-free sum to buy a modern car, or a boat, an up-to-date computer or tablet, a new wardrobe, top-of-the-range bicycles, a caravan, motorhome... the list goes on.
Releasing equity means you’ll be able to invest in more modern and efficient machines and gadgets, and gain the sense of freedom and self-respect that goes with it.
Equity Release for a Much-Needed HolidayIf your house is in good shape, your health is all OK and your income is sufficient for your needs, then there is one final use for Equity Release.
Are there places you’ve never been, that you’ve always wanted to go to? Perhaps a place you saw in a film, or a city full of history and sights, or an island resort tucked away from the rest of the world? By freeing up the money in your home, you can turn that fantasy into a reality.
For some people, Equity Release provides the chance for them to feel the sun on their faces in a Thai archipelago, hear the Atlantic Ocean washing up against the side of the boat, or see the peaks of the Andes looming in the mist. You only live once - why not join them?