by Mark Johnston
Moneyfacts.co.uk Launches Equity Release Advice Service.
Research has shown that the population is becoming older; the number of people aged over 65 in the UK is soaring, from 10.5 million in 2012 to an estimated 16.9 million by 2035.
Current data has also revealed that housing is the largest single asset held by UK households, accounting for around 40 per cent of the UK’s £6,875 billion net wealth.
Experts believe that growing old in a degree of comfort can, and should, be a largely enjoyable life stage. However, growing old when there is not enough money to provide even basic comforts is a prospect now faced by horrifyingly high numbers of people.
It therefore appears that as the ‘baby boom’ generation moves into retirement, many will need to find ways to supplement their pension income or pass on money. More and more people will be looking at how best to use the wealth tied up in their homes.
Although everyone perceives that making use of housing assets is a good idea, especially in a world where state support might be limited, it is quite clear that there is a large gulf between those perceptions and reality.
What is essential is that high quality, trustworthy advice should be available so that individuals can explore their options and make the right decisions to suit their needs.
Since October 2004, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has regulated equity release which has meant consumers have had better access to qualified financial advisers who have gained the appropriate examinations.
Releasing equity from a home is a big decision that needs careful consideration of the different options available, something that can only be achieved through expert advice.
The main products available to those looking in to equity release are:
Lifetime mortgages: These are similar to conventional mortgages. The consumer retains ownership of their home but borrows against it, and the lender secures the sum borrowed by taking a first charge over the property. The borrowing can take the form of a lump sum, or a regular income.
Home reversion plans: The consumer sells their home to a provider, either in full or partial. In both cases the provider then becomes legal owner of the property. The consumer then gets a lump sum or an income for life and the right to stay as a tenant in their former home.
Recently Financial comparison website Moneyfacts.co.uk has partnered with Just Retirements Solutions to launch a restricted equity release advice service.
The service compares offerings from a panel of four providers: Aviva Equity Release, Bridgewater, Just Retirement and Stonehaven.
Just Retirement is a specialist provider of retirement income solutions and it is the largest provider of enhanced annuities, and the second largest provider of equity release lifetime mortgages.
Richard Eagling, head of pensions at Moneyfacts.co.uk said: “For such an important choice, we are glad to be teaming up with Just Retirement Solutions to offer this comprehensive service to our customers”.
Just Retirement Solutions Group external affairs and customer insight director Stephen Lowe “We are delighted to partner with Moneyfacts.co.uk which has an enviable reputation for providing consumers with detailed, up to date financial information.
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