Using equity release as a way to help fund your clients’ retirement

With the coronavirus pandemic having a profound impact on savings and investments on a global scale, we explain how equity release can be a useful tool to help your clients fund their retirement.

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly had a detrimental impact on markets across the world. And inevitably, in turn, this has caused the value of many people's savings to plunge – with the value of the average pension pot falling by 15.2% in the first quarter of 2020.

We know that markets generally recover from falls in the long term. But, in the meantime, you may be looking at ways to help your clients top up any lost income and equity release could be a useful tool to help those affected. However, equity release is a big decision, it isn't the only option and it won't be right for everyone.

A mainstream retirement solution

The equity release market has been growing in recent years and is quickly becoming a more conventional way to supplement retirement plans. Over the last four years, Age Partnership has seen a 330% growth in the number of 55 year‑olds seeking equity release advice, 67% growth for 65 year‑olds and 118% growth for 75 year‑olds.

The demand for equity release has spiked even further in recent months as homeowners look for alternative ways to support themselves and their loved ones financially. In March 2020, the volume of people looking to access money from their homes via equity release was up 13% compared with in January and February. Most of these enquiries were from people who had considered equity release in the past.

So the Equity Release Council has recently made equity release more accessible by agreeing to enable remote provision of legal advice for applications, including non-face-to-face solicitor appointments.

That means most lenders can now provide desktop valuations and accept digital applications. So clients can access the money tied up in their home while adhering to social distancing measures. 

A way to help get through the tough times

Almost two thirds of the UK's residential property wealth is held by those over the age of 55. This group may find that their biggest asset right now is their home and equity release could provide an additional source of financial support to help cover essential costs for the time being.

You might also have clients who are looking for extra money to help support themselves and their loved ones with big expenses such as mortgage payments, repayment of long-term debts, or even essential home improvements.

How we can help you and your clients

We're working with Age Partnership to provide an equity release advice service for your clients.

If you're looking to offer equity release to your clients, Age Partnership's referral service can provide you with peace of mind that your clients, whatever their circumstances, will receive customer service that's tailored to their individual needs.

They have a large team of fully qualified advisers who are available to speak to your clients over the phone or via a video call at a time to suit them. They'll find out if equity release is suitable for them and answer any questions they might have.

When you refer your clients to Age Partnership's equity release referral service, they manage the whole process from giving advice all the way through to completion, at which point you'll receive a referral fee from Age Partnership for any successful applications.

For more information about this service speak to your usual Standard Life contact.

Equity release may involve a lifetime mortgage which is secured against the applicant's property or a home reversion plan. It requires paying off any existing mortgage.

Any money released, plus accrued interest would be repaid upon death, or moving into long term care. The money release can also affect any means-tested benefit entitlements now or in the future.

The views expressed in this blog should not be regarded as financial advice.

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