0 Mistaken beliefs about equity release holding pensioners back By The Bower Team / In Equity Release New research from LV= has found that almost one fifth of pensioners mistakenly think they will pass on debt with an equity release plan, while nearly a quarter believe their equity release borrowing could surpass the value of their home, despite strict regulations in place to ensure this does not happen. The research also revealed that five in six over-65s own their own home and are sitting on an average of £235,750, yet a third are getting by on less than the minimum wage, despite many owning properties that could be utilised to fund a better quality of lifestyle in retirement. With just one in 20 over-65s unlocking the capital in their property to help boost their finances in later life, it appears that mistaken beliefs about equity release could be holding thousands of retirees back from enjoying a better standard of living than they are currently able to afford. Geoff Charles, CEO of Bower said: “It is concerning that such a large number of homeowners in or approaching retirement are struggling to get by on so little income, particularly when there are safe and regulated financial options available to them. By unlocking some of their property wealth retirees may be able to afford a better standard of living without the need to move house, it’s certainly an option worth considering.” The research illustrates the importance of seeking independent specialist advice to ensure any concerns about equity release can be addressed properly by an impartial expert in the field. An independent adviser will also fully explain all the advantages and disadvantages of each plan, and take you through all the safeguards and regulations that have been put in place to protect the homeowner. Bower offer an award-winning impartial service to ensure homeowners receive the utmost safety and customer care when considering unlocking a cash lump sum from their home. As independent experts, Bower only recommends Equity Release Council plans or those with the same set of guarantees, including a ‘no negative equity guarantee’ that you or your family will never owe more than the value of your home, and no debt will be left to your loved ones. One of the main appeals of an equity release plan is that there are no monthly repayments to make, as the interest is rolled up over the life of the plan. This enables ‘asset-rich, cash-poor’ homeowners to access a tax-free cash lump sum which can be spent on anything you choose without the need to make repayments until the plan comes to an end – usually when you pass away or moves into long-term care. Equity release isn’t right for everybody, so an independent specialist will take you through all the points you should carefully consider before making a decision, including how equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to some state benefits. This is a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan. To understand the features and risks, please ask for a personalised illustration. Bower Limited is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register Number: 451607.