Equity release is a way for homeowners to take solvent cash out of their property without selling. Often used as a way to supplement retirement income, it’s fast becoming one of the most popular ways for retirees to fulfil their retirement dreams.
In a recent study conducted by Key equity release specialists, they found that 90% of their customers have or would recommend equity release to family and friends. But why is equity release so popular?
The study found that more than a third of customers found that the money released helped improve the standard of living in retirement by supplementing an existing pension income. The average pension pot allows for an annual income of around £12,000. Just enough for a basic retirement lifestyle. The additional cash injection from the lump sums gives more financial freedom.
However, it’s not just the financial freedom that people have benefitted from. Equity release has also been shown to have a positive impact on mental health and overall wellbeing. Half of respondents said that it eased day-to-day financial worries. We know that financial worries often contribute to feelings of stress and depression. In fact, in a recent study by Money and Mental Health, they found that 86% of people who experience mental health problems said their financial situation had made their mental health problems worse.
People choose equity release as a way of receiving money to spend instead of it being locked away in bricks and mortar. Because of the increase in house prices, it means a large proportion of homeowners’ wealth is tied up in the property making many asset rich but cash poor. Given that most homes have increase in value almost annually, equity release enables homeowners to take out some of the money to help supplement retirement plans.
It’s important to note that equity release isn’t just taken out to benefit the homeowners. The cash can also be gifted to loved ones, with many beneficiaries using the money to help them get on the property ladder themselves. In fact, data from the study shows that more than £32.6 billion of property wealth has been released with over half a million customers and their families benefiting from the money. This in turn helped boot the wider UK economy and housing market.
Ultimately, people would recommend equity release because they are made fully aware of what the process entails. 92% of the respondents from Key’s study said their adviser had explained the product and process well or very well.