Last updated 11th June 2019
You know what they say – there’s no place like home. And getting your house exactly how you want it will make it an even better place to spend your retirement. Equity release could be one way to fund them...
Home sweet home
Perhaps you’ve lived in the same home for decades and you just can’t imagine living anywhere else. Maybe it’s the place where your children grew up – and you’ve made so many memories there over the years. But over the years your needs have changed, and there are things you’d like to improve – especially as you’re retired or approaching retirement.
Let’s face it, downsizing and moving house comes with lots of fuss. You’ve got to worry about packing up all your belongings – not to mention the expense of moving costs, legal fees and stamp duty. So it makes sense that many people are choosing to stay put and making home improvements instead.
Make it the perfect place for retirement
You really don’t have to move house to get the home you want to enjoy in later life. Instead of spending money on moving and dealing with the stress of selling a place you love, you could make the home improvements you’ve always wanted – and create your best possible space to spend your retirement.
From a lick of paint to extending your living space, there are lots of ways to give your house a new lease of life. Here are a few options to think about – and you’ll find more over on our Dream Shopping Basket.
- Build an extension – or get that conservatory you’ve been eyeing up
- Get your dream kitchen or bathroom – or just make a few simple updates
- Landscape gardening – it’ll make you the envy of your neighbours
- Make adaptions – if you have mobility issues, adapting your home with stair lifts or rails could make a big difference to your life
- Make your home energy efficient – new double glazing could save on heating bills
When you unlock cash with equity release, the money is yours to spend as you wish. And if you’ve been longing to get your home just so, this could be the perfect opportunity.
Some other ways to fund home improvements…
Everyone’s different, so the best way to fund your home improvements really does come down to your individual circumstances. Here are a few options to consider:
Use your savings
If you’re lucky enough to have cash saved up for a rainy day, you could think about putting it to good use to make your home work for you in retirement. You won’t have to worry about repaying the money, because it’s all yours. Just remember to think about how much you can afford to spend, and how much you might need for the future.
Take out a loan
Depending on your circumstances, you could have access to good rates on loans, as long as you can afford to repay the money when due. Otherwise, you’ll encounter extra costs.
If you’re just redecorating or making small changes to your property, then you might be able to pay on a credit card. But it’s really important to bear in mind that if a card offers 0% introductory periods for purchases, costs can really shoot up when it comes to an end.
You could access tax-free cash to fund home improvements. Read about equity release.
How equity release could help you
If you’re aged 55 or over with a home worth at least £70,000, you could be eligible for equity release, which could be a way to access funds for home improvements. In fact, more and more people are choosing to release equity from their homes – and 19% of people who took out equity release plans in 2017 used the money to fund home improvements.*
*Source: Age Partnership
So, how does equity release work?
Well, it enables you to unlock cash tied up in your home – and it’s completely tax-free. You can decide to take a lump sum or smaller amounts as and when you need them – and you can spend the money however you like, whether it’s home improvements or something else. With a lifetime mortgage, you’ll also keep full ownership of your home.
You won’t have any monthly repayments to make – your loan and interest are only paid back to the equity release provider when you pass away or go into long term care.
As well as making your home even better to enjoy in retirement, you could even end up increasing the value of your home. And if you invest in making your property more energy efficient (for example, if you get new PVC windows and doors), then you could save on monthly bills, too.
Find out how much money you could unlock right now using our FREE equity release calculator.
Get the advice you need today
When you’ve spent your life working hard, it’s only right that you enjoy the retirement you deserve – and getting your home just the way you want it could make a big difference to your life.
Whether you’re thinking about taking out equity release or an alternative way to fund home improvements, you should always talk things through with an expert financial adviser first. And The SunLife Over 55 Equity Release Service is on hand to help you out.
Guide prices and increases are taken from third party websites and will vary.
How much a loft conversion could increase a home’s value. Nationwide Building Society, April 2016
Cost of a loft conversion
Amount double glazing could increase a home’s value
Cost of double glazing
Amount a downstairs toilet could increase a home’s value
Cost of installing a downstairs toilet