Last updated 3rd June 2019
You could use equity release to pay off your mortgage and boost your income in retirement. Read on to find out more.
Retirement should feel like a well-earned reward for your working life – but for many, it won’t be easy to get by on your pension alone. But if you’re a homeowner, the good news is that equity release could lend a helping hand with your retirement plans…
So, you’ve got a dilemma?
You’ve spent your life working hard, and you feel you’ve really earned your retirement. But when you finally stop working, your pension might not cover everything you need it to – and you’re worried about how you’ll cover the shortfall.
Maybe you’re still paying off your mortgage or you’ve got other debts to pay off – and you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to cover them. With all this on your plate, it won’t be easy to maintain the lifestyle you’re used to. And perhaps you shouldn’t retire after all…
Does any of this sound familiar? Well, believe it or not, your home could just give you the answer you’re looking for (and we don’t mean selling up and downsizing.
Just imagine a worry-free retirement…
Everyone should be able to enjoy their retirement free from financial worries. And having some extra money in the bank to cover the important things might be what you need to make your later years more comfortable.
With this in mind, equity release could be for you.
Basically, this is a popular way for homeowners aged 55 and over to unlock some of the equity tied up in their homes. So, rather than having money tied up in bricks and mortar, it would be available for you to use as you wish – and it’s completely tax free. You won’t even have to make any monthly repayments. The loan will simply be repaid when your property is sold, which is usually when you (and your partner if you’re joint owners) pass away or move into permanent residential care. Read more about it in our handy guide to equity release.
Depending on your circumstances, equity release could make good financial sense for you.
Forget about big bills
Imagine paying off your debt by releasing equity in your home. You could clear your credit card bills and your mortgage, and finally experience that feeling of relief you never thought you’d have.
If you’ve got an existing mortgage, the cash sum you unlock from your home will pay this off first of all, along with any other debt you have secured on your home.
Using equity release to pay off your mortgage could be especially welcome if you took out an interest-only mortgage in the 1990s or early 2000s. When your current deal comes to an end, your final balance will be due and you might be short of the cash to repay it. Like many people in this position, you might not get enough income from your pension or other investments to pay it off in one go – and that’s exactly why equity release could help. This solution doesn’t require proof of any income or affordability – the cash sum you borrow depends on your age and the value of your home.
Top up your pension
So, that’s your mortgage and other debts taken care of. If there’s any cash to spare, it could give you a financial boost when you need it most.
Retirement can be a time where income is limited – especially as we’re all living longer, the cost of living is rising and interest rates on savings are low. So if your pension is only a modest one, even covering the costs of day-to-day living could prove challenging – whether it’s the weekly food shop or the monthly bills. Never mind those unexpected costs, like a broken boiler or repairs around the house.
That’s exactly why equity release could prove so valuable in your later years. The extra cash could make up for the shortfall in your pension and help your cover all the essentials. And then hopefully, you’ll spend less time worrying and more time enjoying the retirement you deserve.
Plan ahead – and spend wisely
There’s no doubt that equity release is a big decision, and it isn’t the right option for everyone. You should consider things carefully, talk to your family and seek specialist advice before making any decisions. And if you do release equity from your home, remember that you’re required to pay off any existing mortgage first.
Any remaining cash is yours to spend as you wish – whether it’s covering everyday essentials or finally paying off your car finance. And if you’re considering equity release, we’ve put together a list of dream home improvements so you could see how far your money might go.