With extended life expectancies and the steady demise of the better final salary pension schemes, equity release arrangements to fund capital or income needs in later life from the monies tied up in ones home is becoming a more frequently used tool.
This is a market to which a wide range of organisations are increasingly committing funds and the breadth of equity release providers is growing all the time. Traditionally it was the insurance companies and some specialist providers that provided equity release arrangements but nowadays some of the mainstream mortgage lenders are also moving into this arena.
Whilst the vast majority of providers are members of the Equity Release Council and these all agree to adhere to the ERC standards, their products all have different features which make some products better suited to some particular individuals needs than others. As most of these products also usually have greater early repayment penalties than mainstream mortgages, it is even more important to get the right solution at outset to suit your individual requirements.
Equity release is the one area above all the others that I advise on where it is really vital to take independent advice from someone who can source the most suitable solution for your particular needs and circumstances. Please do use a firm who advise from across the whole marketplace rather than to go through a firm who can only advise on a limited or ‘selected’ range of products. Going directly to a provider selected on the basis of their name, the company who was most suitable for someone else in the family, or even the one with the largest marketing budget is not an option I would recommend.
Kirsty is a specialist Mortgage and Equity Release Adviser with Independent Financial Advisers, Chilvester Financial. She can be contacted through their Marlborough office on 01672 500600.