0 Has equity release become an essential aspect of financial planning? By The Bower Team / In Equity Release New research released by Bower has given an insight in to why perhaps equity release sales saw such a large increase in 2015. The findings, taken from Bower’s quarterly Adviser Tracker Research, indicate that equity release has come to be seen as an essential part of financial planning for many people; allowing them to assist loved ones financially and clear their interest-only mortgages. The figures showed: Over the last quarter, 93% of advisers had clients releasing cash from their homes to help their family members get on the property ladder 85% have seen a rise in clients asking about solutions for interest-only mortgage repayment issues in the past 12 months 14% of advisers say the average house price of customers they deal with is £500,000 or more The figures go some way in demonstrating that not everybody is using equity release as a last resort, as it has traditionally been known for. An estimated 3.3 million* homeowners in the UK currently have an interest-only mortgage. It appears that, with more than 8 in 10 advisers seeing an increase in clients considering equity release to clear their interest-only mortgage, equity release is becoming an essential part of future financial planning for many people. Furthermore, the average house price for equity release customers was £500,000 or more for 14% of the advisers questioned; some customer’s homes were worth over £1million. For these larger house values, it could be assumed that some homeowners are choosing to tap into the tax-free cash locked up in the value of their homes to maintain a certain standard of living in their retirement. The figures also showed that over half the advisers agree that clients today are less inclined to worry about leaving an inheritance. Interestingly, the research shows 93% of advisers have clients on their books releasing cash from their homes to help their family members get on the property ladder. Perhaps more people today are viewing equity release as a way to give loved ones their inheritance now, at a time when it is so difficult for many to purchase a home without assistance from family. Equity release is not right for everybody of course, so we recommend you speak to an independent Bower specialist before making a decision. He or she will take the time to explain the advantages and disadvantages of each type of plan; including how equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to some state benefits. How much could you unlock? Use our free, no-obligation online equity release calculator and discover instantly how much tax-free cash you could unlock from your home. If you are considering equity release then Bower’s free guide is an ideal starting point for anyone thinking about releasing cash from their home. Call free on 0800 411 8668 to order yours today. *Thisismoney.co.uk Sept 2015 Think carefully before securing other debts against your home.