Many people are not aware that it is possible to get money from their homes without having to rent or sell them. This can be done by a procedure known as ‘equity release’ which helps people to get tax-free funds without needing to sell their home. After a person buys a property, the value of the home will hopefully increase over time, although this can be cyclical and currently the property market is at the bottom of this cycle. For key retirement solutions it is important to know all of the financial products available no matter where the housing cycle is at the moment.
However, when property prices do pick up this additional increase in value is known as 'equity' and a person can borrow money based on this added value. Equity is based on the amount of a loan one has on their home versus the true value of the home. For retirees this often means 100% of their home is paid for and that they have 100% of the equity available to them. After several long years of working to pay off your home, utilising special financial products that can release some of this equity can be helpful to a more comfortable retirement.
The first and most important step is to seek advice from companies that specialize in this kind of arrangement by offering a range of key retirement solutions. One of the common reasons why people seek an equity release is being unable to cater for household maintenance costs. An equity release mortgage gives homeowners access to cash to keep their houses in good condition and thereby maintain their re-saleability.
As economic slowdowns are unavoidable, property owners can use their houses to get finance in order to get them through the tough economic times. An equity release mortgage benefits people who are rich in terms of property equity but actually cash poor when it comes to bank and cash savings. When a homeowner takes up an equity release mortgage they get access to cash which can then be used to carry out many important tasks. This cash is tax free for them and can be used in any way.
The only possible way for a person to get money from their house was to sell it and rent another one or buy a house of lesser value. This was quite cumbersome and usually didn’t help people to get money in times of emergencies. Also, people may not wish to leave their home as it may carry fond memories for themselves and their children. It is good to know there is a solution that can save you from having to sell away your home when you need a little cash for regular maintenance, daily living, holidays, or to help your children through their difficult times. Speaking with an adviser can help you choose the right equity release for your situation.
Equity release enables people quick access to cash during emergencies. The process itself it like any mortgage application. It can take between 6-8 weeks on average for an equity release scheme to complete, this always bear these timescales in mind when ordering goods & services which are to rely on this release of equity.
Another great benefit of equity release is that it can provide a source of income to a person for the rest of their life. Depending on the agreement, a person does not have to pay any money until the last member mentioned in the agreement passes away or moves into long term care. The only other time when a person forfeits the benefit of an equity release agreement is when they decide to permanently move away from the house. In this case the house has to be sold in order to repay the borrowed amount and this is when the equity release company receives their money back with interest.
There is no "one" solution for equity release. Instead, you have five options to help you. There are four lifetime mortgages and a home reversion plan. Home reversion is not a release of equity in which your home is kept, but rather it is sold in a partial amount so that you do not have a mortgage on the home.
Lifetime mortgages require repayment at death or move out to a new location. Under this category there are rollover, drawdown, impaired, and interest only lifetime mortgages.
There are many firms specializing in equity release such as Equity Release Supermarket and Compare Equity Release, and most times a person can get free financial advice about borrowing money on their house’s equity. As key retirement solutions go, the equity release helps homeowners without making things more difficult in the end.
One of the biggest commitments you will ever make is in taking out a mortgage and then striving to repay it, eventually reaching the pinnacle of complete home ownership. It is perhaps the biggest investment too from both financial and emotional angles. A lot has changed in recent years within the mortgage industry and the new trends and rules are a result of what happened to the global economy back in 2006. In the United States, things started to spiral downwards and as a result, many markets around the world were largely affected. The house owners could not afford their repayments and financial disasters struck almost everywhere. For older individuals struggling with the loss of their financial retirement plan a necessary change needed to happen in the form of an equity release mortgage.
A lot of people lost their dream homes while some were lucky to manage their finances carefully and re-coup back what had always belonged to them. For those who were savvy enough there was another answer to make the financial strain lessen just a bit. People who knew about the equity release mortgage and how it could work in their favour could find their ground. For the over 55's an equity release is one of the options they used. Today, you can apply for an equity release whenever you need, as long as you know that you have taken specialist equity release advice and it’s for the right reasons.
There are always specific details that will determine if a financial option is in your favour and available to you:
• You must be at least 55 to take out a lifetime mortgage.
• You must qualify for this type of mortgage based on personal information and house valuation of greater than £70,000.
• You own your own home & it’s your main residence
• You have no mortgage, or if you do this can be repaid from the equity release proceeds
The financial world can always be a tricky place and situations do arise as they always did. The basic principle here is that any home equity loans permits you to use your equity value in the property by using it as collateral. This is a quick way to get the money you may need. In reality, it works more as a personal loan than anything else. The golden rule or the key rule here is to know your long term investment and financial plans because lack of planning can cause some serious trouble at a later stage.
You are also better off speaking to your independent mortgage adviser in the first instance to ascertain how much you are eligible for. This is important as the mortgage needs to be arranged in order for you to stay on track with your budget and finances. The younger you are the less you want to use of your equity right away. Saving it and using it over the long term can be a much better use of your retirement funds.
Equity release mortgage loans have gained a lot of momentum and popularity in recent years. You can either get the whole money as a lump sum or in monthly instalments, namely by drawdown. This depends largely on the availability of the lifetime mortgage lenders.
• Lump sum or roll-up mortgages are the type to pay out in one tax-free lump sum of capital, while compounding the interest until the loan is paid off in full.
• Drawdown mortgages allow you to take money out of an account as you need it with an initial, smaller lump sum. The interest only adds onto the funds you use and not what is actually available to you. You can then withdraw smaller sums, as low as £1000 at time, as & when circumstances require.
• Interest only lifetime mortgages allow you to pay off the interest of the loan, so all you need to pay back when you move out or at death is the principle loan amount. This is the most affordable in terms of interest as it is paid each month. A key retirement solution is to have disposable income that can make the payment.
• Illness lifetime mortgages work for those who have a serious, life threatening illness that could end your life early, in which case you need more funds right away with a shorter repayment period. These are typically known as enhanced lifetime mortgages and provide a greater lump sum than standard equity release schemes.
It is highly recommended that equity release is used as a last resort once all other options have been eliminated such as downsizing, using any savings and asking your children for financial assistance. Also, bear in mind plans start at age 55, hence the younger you commence an equity release mortgage there is more inherent risk due to the fact it has more time to run based on average life expectancy, resulting in a potentially larger balance at the end of the day.
These are lifetime mortgage & home reversion plans. To understand the risks involved, always ask for a personalized illustration.
There is one way in which the poor health of pensioners can be beneficial to them – equity release. Equity release schemes allow retired homeowners to release cash from their properties. More commonly, equity release mortgages are starting to take into account the medical condition of the person (or persons) applying for the mortgage to determine how much money they can take out of their properties. These enhanced lifetime mortgages are also commonly known as impaired life equity release schemes.
Many equity release providers including Aviva, Just Retirement, More2life and Partnership realize that pensioners with poor health have different needs than pensioners with good health and will therefore need more money to sustain their needs and to enjoy their lives with their family and friends while they are physically still able to do so.
The general rule is that the worse the health of homeowners, the more money they will be able to take out of their properties. Common health issues that are taken into consideration and that might result in a homeowners qualifying for more money include: smoking, diabetes, stroke, angina, cancer, heart attacks and Parkinson's disease or even just a minor issue such as being on medication.
In most cases, pensioners are not required to pay the monthly interest but instead it is allowed to be rolled up until the mortgage has been repaid. In most cases, the mortgage is repaid when the homeowner dies or moves into a care facility. At this point the house is usually sold to clear the enhanced equity release mortgage.
Most equity release schemes are calculated based on the life expectancy of the person. A impaired life equity release scheme is based on the logic that poor health will have a direct impact on the life expectancy of the person. However if the person lives longer than is expected, there might be a danger in that the initial advance and the accumulated interest might become more than the value of the property. In order to prevent this, many equity release providers place a maximum loan that is allowed to be borrowed based on the age and the health conditions of the borrower.
• Any equity release plan that is a lifetime mortgage requires the person to be at least 55 years of age. This impaired equity release also requires the same, unless it is a special circumstance.
• The lender may request information form the applicants GP. No medical would be involved, however to prove a smoker status the lender could request a nicotine test. This would be to prove that more than 10 cigarettes were being smoked per day.
• The basis of the impairment is usually calculated on the younger life as this normally is the person that will live the longest. However, some lenders will look at both cases & make an underwriting decision based on both parties.
• The home needs to be paid in full before all other mortgages or the money with the new equity release must be used to pay the house mortgage off. If a mortgage still remains on the house, then less money is available to be borrowed and the lifetime mortgage has to be paid first.
A life impaired equity release is helpful in paying off medical bills or making a person's last years of life more comfortable; however, if there is a spouse there are situations that can make this more difficult. The spouse might have to sell the home to repay the debt or the mortgage might be outstanding during the rest of their life too. In most instances lifetime mortgages can be taken out as a couple and the living spouse has the right to remain in the home. Interest accrues during this period making it important to know all the facts before considering lifetime mortgage.
This option is also only one on the market specifically set up for individuals with life threatening illnesses or medical conditions that warrant enhanced terms. Therefore, even though health maybe suffer due to disability, these ailments are not considered necessarily life threatening & therefore do not affect the enhanced terms available.
Before taking out this mortgage it might be best to consider if it is the right option based on current research for the health situation a pensioner is in. A younger person may have a chance at a cure from a disease or at least better health management to extend life. Talk to your equity release adviser about the options & potential benefits available due to impairment. Remember these schemes are suitable for those looking for the maximum equity release, or the largest drawdown facility to provide that financial cushion throughout their retirement.
Once all the facts are known about the equity release recommendation, possible outcomes, and the income generated from the lifetime mortgage a decision can be made. It is often helpful for a person to look at all avenues of equity release to understand other options too. The family of the individual looking to take out this mortgage is going to be affected. Making your family a part of the decision is advisable given that they may end up having to help pay for the mortgage due to inheritance loss.
By having to sell the home, or selling the home with no equity release left, this means your family will not have any inheritance. They may want to be made aware!
With the help of online equity release calculators, pensioners are able to estimate how much money they will be entitled to base on their age and their physical health. Bear in mind that the majority of equity release calculator results do not provide the enhanced lifetime mortgage maximums. They gladly take your details for the standard terms but don’t paint the whole picture. To obtain full results of standard, enhanced & interest only lifetime mortgages then sites such as www.equityreleasecalculator.net are geared towards providing such statistics.
It is always advisable to seek professional financial advice before committing to an equity release scheme like the impaired life equity release plans. There are many factors to account for which without specialist knowledge can leave yourself wide open to making an incorrect & therefore expensive mistake for you & your children.
An equity release mortgage is a way for you to raise money against the value of your home, which is basically a loan with no regular repayments. The provider which loans you the money will be paid back when your property is eventually sold. Such equity release schemes can provide you with a lump sum of cash as agreed upon or you can opt for a plan that gives you regular payments for income such as a drawdown lifetime mortgage.
There are two main types of equity release mortgage plans out there that you can choose from. You can either go with a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion plan. A lifetime mortgage is when you take out a loan against the value of your property but you still have 100% ownership of the property. The second option, which is a home reversion plan, is where you sell off part, or all of your home to a home reversion company. With this option you will have to give up part of or full ownership of your property accordingly.
You want to find an equity release plan that will allow you minimal set up costs but that will give you a maximum pay out. After all, most people want to get the most out of anything they do in life. As it is a long term financial plan, you need to make sure that an equity release is a good option for you. Remember that it is a big commitment and it will also reduce the inheritance you leave behind for your family as your home will be sold to pay the loan. Therefore, the golden rule is to obtain the maximum facility, but only take what you need initially. This will decelerate the roll-up effect of the interest. This method is opposed to taking the full amount immediately & seeing the future balance run away with itself. Always get independent advice on this area as this holds the key retirement solutions to a better inheritance for your beneficiaries.
The plus side is that you will be able to receive money from your home while still living in it and/or there will be money from your home left behind for your family when you pass away if that is the option you choose.
• You receive tax free money in a lump sum or drawdown future payments.
• You have 4 lifetime mortgage options to choose from.
• The money you use can be on anything from home improvements to holidays.
• You have extra capital/income to live on during a tough situation.
• You still own your home categorically
• There is a protection clause that will not make a negative equity situation if your home loses value, or if the balance ever supersedes the value of the property
• You can be as young as 55 and take out a lifetime mortgage.
• Unless you have a life insurance policy designed to cover your home mortgage, you will need to sell your home to repay the loan and its compounded interest.
• Your children may not have an inheritance depending on the amount you borrow and the interest that accrues.
• The balance s accrues on a compounded interest basis
• They offer poor value for money if property values stagnate or fall
For home reversion you need to be a minimum of 65 years of age. You also sell a portion of your home, or the entire home. You do not owe any money at the end of your life or the agreement; however, you also do not own your full home. You will live in your home until you decide to move out under a lifetime tenancy agreement which stipulates you do not have to pay rent or ever move out. Your spouse can also continue living in the home if you pass on as long as they are named in the original contract.
It is clear there are some advantages and disadvantages to both lifetime mortgages and home reversion. In the end you may have to sell your home under both deals. The biggest factor with regard to these options is the payout percentage. Given that you are living rent free under home reversion you typically receive less of a payout for the portion of home sold than you can receive in lifetime mortgage options.
If you choose drawdown lifetime mortgage you can use a sum of money when you need it by drawing on an account. These are much more flexible than the home reversion; however check out the Bridgewater Secured Escalating Release Plan where regular payments can be received over a number of predetermined years. With a lifetime mortgage you only pay interest for the money you withdraw rather than the entire sum available in terms of interest. This can be easier to live with than selling your entire home due to an unaffordable mortgage payment in the end or selling it before you move on to a new home or pass on.
An equity release mortgage can be a great solution to problems with cash flow later in life. If you are considering taking out an equity release on your home, you definitely want to make sure that you have a lot of advice and support in order to avoid any hidden costs and find the best deal available to you. Consult the Unbiased website or leading equity release brokers such as Equity Release Supermarket to help with making this massively important decision.
If you are above the age of 55 and are a UK homeowner, you could benefit from a home equity mortgage where you get the money in the form of a monthly payment, lump sum or a combination of both. The good thing is that the money raised through equity release is all yours and what you do with the cash is totally up to you. Moreover, the money is tax-free and you can spend it on anything you like including going on holiday, home improvements, improving your lifestyle and also the chance to clear your mortgage among other financial worries.
One of the most popular reasons why people choose equity release is to do home improvements. So for instance, you may want to build a conservatory, fit in a new kitchen, or building an extension among others. This reason in particular makes the home equity mortgage very attractive as you use the money to improve the very space you are living in whilst increasing the property’s value. Retirees desire to continue living in the same kind of comfort as they did while they were still working, which means that doing home improvements allows you to live in luxury in your retirement years.
If you have not already cleared your mortgage, you can use the funds to do so now. Most importantly, you will have more money in your pocket as you will not be making any monthly mortgage payments back to the lender. This will certainly affect your disposable income positively. If you desire to move houses or location, this could also allow you to upsize or move to a quieter location and still be able to take care of the deficit. As most people spend most of their lives working, raising a family and paying bills, a home equity mortgage will allow you to enjoy added luxury, and anyone would want a comfortable retirement anyway.
You can use the money to mitigate your inheritance tax liability. House prices have risen sharply in the recent past, meaning that most homes today fall within the government’s treasury department by the time they pass on. Taking up equity release allows one to reduce the amount of income tax they have to pay.
Lastly, you can use it to help family members pay off their own debts. Limited pensions and the ease to obtain credit means that many people have found themselves debt ridden, or wondering how to pay their regular bills. If you have a family member in such a scenario, you can use the money to help them out and make their lives much more enjoyable.
While you have plenty of reasons to take out the equity release mortgage there are also important factors on how it works that you should learn.
• The mortgage does not require payments if you choose a lifetime mortgage, unless you choose an interest-only lifetime mortgage. The interest only lifetime mortgage requires you to pay the interest that accrues each month for the term of the mortgage, your life. The balance thus remains constant.
• To repay the mortgage you either have to sell your home or find funds that will cover the entire mortgage amount. This could leave your home in the clutches of a new owner unless your family has the funds to pay off the mortgage in full including the accrued interest.
• Another repayment option is to have a life insurance policy that covers a mortgage payment in full.
• There is an APR that accrues for the length of time the mortgage is outstanding even though you are not making payments.
Based on these caveats it is important that you use any remortgage option wisely. Going on a holiday that is excessively expensive could cost you your home, while helping to pay off other debts or improve your home for a better sale value is a wiser decision.
If you do not like holding a mortgage in your later life, where in particular the balance can be seen to increase on each & every annual mortgage statement you do have an alternative. The alternative is to consider home reversion plans where you sell a portion of your home to a lender and live in it rent free for life. You have money to use, but you do not have to pay anything back in the end. You simply sell the rest of your home. This only works if you are not concerned over losing your home and you are over 65 years of age.
Home equity mortgage options ensure you have money to live your life in comfort and there is every chance that you can pay the funds back at the end of your life through insurance or selling the home when you move. They offer peace of mind for those who may have not been fortunate enough, for one reason or another, to save sufficiently for their retirement. Afterall, retirement is a long holiday and doesn’t come cheap!
Many people are confident in their internet researching skills and feel that they can find the best deals available out there. While this may be true when making a retail purchase, the equity release market is filled with numerous schemes and products which can be a little difficult to compare. Deciding to go ahead with an equity release scheme is a big decision and it is important that you have all the relevant information to enable you to make an informed choice. The equity release mortgage calculator is a useful tool provided by a number of brokers and companies specialising in equity release. It can prove invaluable to those researching equity release and it is imperative that you make use of this free tool before you make any decisions to buy.
There are a number of benefits and reasons why you should use an equity release mortgage calculator before you make any final decisions. These include:
This is an essential piece of information, which is pivotal in most people's decision to go ahead with equity release. Most forms of equity release mortgage calculator can provide very accurate information about the amount of release which would be available to you. Providing you have supplied accurate information to the calculator, this figure can be relied upon when moving forward. Some people have found that although they have a great deal of equity in their home, their personal circumstances may restrict the amount of equity which could be released. This figure may prove to be insufficient for their needs, which means that they will need to revisit other options.
There are a number of different schemes and products offered through equity release. Many people have only researched one particular product range, which may not actually represent the best possible choice for their circumstances. Most independent calculators will search the whole marketplace and provide information related to all schemes. These can usually be divided into three types: Home reversion plans, which allow home owners to sell all or part of their property; Standard lifetime mortgages, which allow customers to borrow against the value of their home but make no repayments until their death when the property is sold to repay the balance; and Drawdown lifetime mortgages, which are similar to standard lifetime mortgages but offer a drawdown facility to request funds rather than an initial lump sum.
Equity release products will usually compound the interest for the loans. By using an equity release mortgage calculator, you will be provided with the facts and figures including how the compound interest will affect the balance of the loan year on year. Without an understanding of this concept, you will be entering into an equity release scheme blindly. You must understand the full implications equity release can have on your estate and beneficiaries before proceeding. In fact, most specialist brokers and advisers will recommend discussing your decision with your children and family before you make a final commitment to proceed. The figures provided by the calculator allow you to present the information to your family, so that they too understand the implications of your decision.
All equity release schemes are designed to allow you to retain the right to live in your home for the remainder of your life or until you move into a facility for long term care. However, the schemes are designed to be in place for the remainder of your life. It can prove costly and penalties may be applied if you change your mind after a plan has been put in place. Therefore it is important that you have received all the information and are confident in your decision. Although your broker or adviser will provide detailed key facts illustrations, advantages and disadvantages, and other paperwork, many people skim over this documentation. However, by using an online equity release mortgage calculator, you will be presented with this information and you can study it at your leisure in the comfort of your own home.
Equity release can provide an excellent solution for a great number of people over the age of fifty-five. However, it is a big decision to make and it is therefore vitally important not to rush in to buy or commit to one particular scheme or product. By taking your time to research your options fully using an online equity release mortgage calculator, you can be assured that when the time comes to make your decision, you are confident that proceeding forward is the right choice for your requirements and particular circumstances.
Equity release can provide an excellent solution for a number of home owners with limited income and in need of a cash lump sum. However, the development of the equity release market has meant that there is now an amazing variety of different products and types of lifetime mortgage. Calculators are often provided on company websites to provide examples and figures to make your decisions easier. However, it is important that the calculators you are using offer the information for all your available choices.
There are a number of different equity release products but a great many of them are types of lifetime mortgage. Calculators will often quote for lifetime mortgages but may not offer the alternatives. There are three basic types of equity release:
• Home reversion plans: These are plans which allow a home owner to sell all or part of their home to the home reversion company while retaining the right for lifetime tenancy. This type of plan is usually only available to those aged over sixty-five and are considered to be a more suitable alternative for those who want more control over what equity will be left for their beneficiaries.
• Standard lifetime mortgage: This is one of the most common types of lifetime mortgage. Calculators will often use these types of schemes as the default product for equity release. It is similar to a conventional repayment mortgage in that you can borrow a certain percentage of the value of your home but unlike a conventional mortgage there is no monthly repayment, so there are no restrictions on your income. Instead of the interest being paid off each month, it accumulates and is compounded onto the mortgage balance. The total balance is only due for repayment at the end of your life or if you move into a facility of long term care. At this time your property is sold and the proceeds are used to settle the balance. Any remaining funds are then passed on to your beneficiaries.
• Drawdown lifetime mortgage: This is similar to a standard lifetime mortgage and works in much the same way with one exception. Instead of providing a lump sum, it creates a drawdown facility, which you can call upon as and when you are in need of cash. This can be beneficial as you will only pay interest on the money already taken and it can be helpful for those who are worried about the impact a large lump sum may have on their eligibility for means tested state assistance.
• Enhanced lifetime mortgages: With these types of lifetime mortgage, calculators will factor in your current medical health. Those who are suffering from a medical condition which may impair their life expectancy are offered a higher percentage of equity release than those of the same age but in good health.
• Check the type of calculator: In order to ensure that you have considered all your options, it is important to check you are using a calculator which offers different types of lifetime mortgage and equity release plans. There are a number of independent brokers who offer a free calculator and cover a full range of different equity release products. These types of calculator will often automatically verify that you meet the relevant criteria and provide details of plans which would be best suited to your needs.
• Use more than one calculator: These tools are very useful and offered for free with no commitment. It is important to take advantage of this convenience and ensure you use more than one calculator. Ideally, to gain a good perspective on the market, you should use at least three to five different calculators.
• Ensure your details are correct: The calculators use mathematical information and have no checks for accuracy. Therefore you must ensure that your details are correct. It is worth taking the time to obtain a new statement from your mortgage provider with an up to date balance, and use website tools to obtain a property value based on houses which have recently sold in your area.
If you are considering equity release, it is important to make the most of lifetime mortgage calculators. They can provide great information about the types of lifetime mortgage. Calculators can also supply the figures of plans which could suit your needs to enable you to make informed decisions. Although you will need to consult a professional adviser for your application, you can assure yourself of your decision to proceed further just with the information supplied by the calculator alone.
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