If you are planning your retirement and wish to relax with an additional regular income or cash lump sum, you may wish to consider equity release. Equity release schemes are specifically designed financial products for the over fifty fives age group. They were introduced to the United Kingdom financial marketplace to assist older people who may need to obtain finance by releasing the equity locked in their property. Many equity release schemes can confirm basic qualification criteria through the use of a financial questionnaire, usually using an online tool or calculator. However, there are a number of reasons why you should speak to a professional adviser to determine how equity release could help you in your old age.
An accurate assessment of your financial circumstances
Equity release advisers are trained and qualified to create an accurate assessment of your financial circumstances. Many will use a financial questionnaire to determine basic details such as your current mortgage balance and any outstanding debts you wish to repay, in order to assess whether equity release would be beneficial to your needs. The adviser can then assess your financial condition and ensure that the equity release schemes would be suited to those requirements. The adviser will compile information including your personal information such as your age, together with your income and expenditure, and the details of your property to create an accurate picture of whether equity release would provide sufficient funds to meet your current and future requirements.
Exploration of the options
Your equity release adviser will also assist you in exploring the alternative options. These may be factors which you may not have considered but could represent a solution which is better suited to your needs. For example, if you are looking to release equity to improve your home, they can assist you in investigating whether there are any grants or financial assistance programs which could provide the required funds. Alternatively, they can explore your income and expenditure to assist you with budgeting if you need to make up an income shortfall.
Thorough research of the marketplace
An experienced independent equity release adviser will assist you by thoroughly researching the equity release marketplace to find a scheme which meets your requirement criteria and fits your circumstances. There is such a wide variety of schemes available with a variety of different interest rates, terms and restrictions, it would be almost impossible to locate the best possible deal unless you were intimately familiar with the marketplace. Although online calculator tools can provide an accurate illustration of the available schemes, equity release advisers tend to have access to exclusive deals and plans which may not be available elsewhere. This increases your likelihood of finding the best possible deal to help in your later years.
Illustration of the pros and cons
Your adviser will also guide you through the pros and cons of the specific schemes. Equity release terms and conditions can be a little complex, so it is important to assess all of the pros and cons fully before making a commitment. Your adviser will supply key facts illustrations, financial examples and other documentation which means that you have all the information needed to make an informed decision. They will also use their experience and knowledge of the industry in addition to your personal and financial questionnaire to recommend the product or scheme which they feel is best suited to your needs and circumstances.
Guiding you through the process
Finally, your equity release adviser will be able to guide you through the application process. They will be able to assist you if there are any unforeseen circumstances such as the property being undervalued, to ensure that the process is as simple and easy as possible. They will fully explain the process of what to expect before you begin the application and ensure that you are aware of all the documentation you will need to proceed. This can be invaluable support when you are unfamiliar with financial terminology and conveyancing.
Equity release schemes can present a viable financial arrangement for those who are worried about having sufficient funds for their retirement. Even those who have made careful plans for their pension may find that they need an injection of cash, and once you have retired, you may find the options for conventional finance very limited. Equity release funds can be used for any purpose including supplementing your lifestyle, paying off debts or inheritance planning. The funds are tax free and can be provided as a lump sum or additional income. In order to determine if you qualify for equity release all you need to do is fill in an online financial questionnaire or speak to an equity release adviser.