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How can equity release help in retirement?

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…

mature couple looking at their finances

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.

mature couple smiling and sitting on the sofa

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 cash 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.

calendar with entry mortgage paid off

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.

row of houses with cars parked in the driveway

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.

small wooden house with red roof

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 made it easy to see how far your cash will go with our Dream Shopping Basket tool. Just browse through the items, find the ones that match your needs and pop them in your cart.

Whenever you’re ready, we’re here for you

For more information and to check your eligibility, call The SunLife Over 55 Equity Release Service today on 0800 633 5566 or request a call back.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife? 

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Phoenix Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 110418). As part of SunLife’s commitment to quality service and security, telephone calls may be recorded.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

The funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Ltd which is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.