0 Combating the Cost of Living with Equity Release By The Bower Team / In Retirement Planning In the past, retirement was seen as a phase of life where hard working men and women could sit back, relax and reap the rewards of a lifetime of employment. But due mainly to increasing costs of living, the reality is that many hardworking people face a totally different situation. With the cost of shopping, utility bills and other household expenses rising sharply, simply living steadily is becoming increasingly difficult, with plans to go on holidays or buying a new car completely out of the question for those in retirement. For these reasons, more and more over 55s are seeking equity release advice. Equity release plans allow homeowners to release a lump sum or regular income from their homes, which in turn means many aspirations can be fulfilled, which would not otherwise be possible. Equity release could allow homeowners to lead a much more comfortable retirement in an age of increasing costs. The appeal of equity release schemes is that the money released can be used for anything desired or needed. Sound independent financial advice in retirement is vital when considering equity release to ensure it is the right course of action and that alternatives are explored. Make sure you choose a specialist equity release adviser who offers an in depth advice service and a means tested benefits analysis, and preferably one who has won awards for their quality of service and ethical standards. Equity release may involve a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan. To understand the features and risks, please ask for a personalised illustration. Bower is an FCA regulated independent financial advice company that offers specialist advice on equity release throughout the UK. For more information email [email protected] or call 0800 4118668.