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Archive for October, 2010

Equity Release Schemes – An Important Part Of Your Retirement Planning

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Equity release has been around for quite a long time and is available in different forms. Due to the important role it plays in retirement planning, equity release has gained plenty of attention these days. Unlike traditional schemes, equity release is one of the best tools for generating income after retirement.

Equity release schemes are described in many different ways, as home income plans, lifetime mortgages or home reversion. Essentially, every scheme offers a mechanism to release the equity you have built up in your property. Equity release offers you a way to release some of the value of your property during retirement when you need it the most. By opting for an equity release scheme, you will not need to move out or sell your property in order to gain the benefit of the equity tied up within it.


Enhance your life during retirement with equity release

Equity release can be the best option for individuals who need extra money to give a boost to their spending power to cover their cost of living. Homeowners over 55 years of age can apply for equity release.

Unlike traditional mortgages, equity release schemes do not require you to make routine repayments. If you are using an equity release scheme to consolidate debt, you must know that you will be taking an earlier unsecured debt to secure against your property. If you are looking for a way to generate income during your retirement, an equity release scheme can be an alternative solution as a means of topping up your retirement income.


To discuss any issues raised, please contact the Equity Release Supermarket team on 0800 678 5159


Equity Release – Some Facts You Must Know

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Equity release is a scheme meant for senior citizens. There are still some misrepresentations on these schemes due to lack of customer knowledge & product awareness. However, there are now informative equity release website’s such as Equity Release Supermarket who provide information & interest rates on the equity release schemes available.


Equity release schemes were introduced to secure individuals financially after retirement. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions:


Who owns your property?

The key benefit of an equity release scheme is that you still own your property. You are still the decision maker for it.


Is there any tax charged?

No tax is charged on the money you receive via an equity release scheme. The tax might be charged on the investment of this money. For instance, if you invest equity release money in a deposit account for further income or receipt of interest, then tax is charged.


Criteria to qualify for equity release

Your property is surveyed for eligibility. The current minimum value for eligibility is £70,000. A property worth less than this amount cannot be mortgaged for equity release purposes. Coming to the eligibility of an individual, you need to be of at least 55 years of age to qualify for a lifetime mortgage scheme. A minimum age of 65 is required for a home reversion scheme.

An equity release scheme is one of the better financial tools meant for senior citizens. Every retired individual could potentially take advantage. You can opt for such a scheme even if you are financially secure. It can be used for investments or just to indulge in leisure activities. If you want to enjoy your retirement, consider equity release schemes & you can find the information you require by visiting the website of equity release supermarket.


Equity Release – Some Of Your Doubts Clarified

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

There are still many doubts in people’s mind regarding equity release. Many people stay away from such schemes because they believe that they are not eligible to opt for one or fear of the unknown. There are some who think that they have to sell their property or that they will lose the ownership. To clear some of these doubts, read on.


Who is eligible?

Equity release is a scheme to benefit older people. The minimum age of a person to qualify for a lifetime mortgage is 55. To qualify for a home reversion scheme, a person should be 65. A person cannot qualify for equity release if they have a property valued below £70,000.


What about property ownership?

After opting for equity release schemes, you will still be the owner of your property. Equity release gives you the value for your property without you losing ownership. With lifetime mortgage schemes, you have complete ownership. On the contrary, with a home reversion equity release scheme you are required to sell all or a part of your property.



When is this loan repaid?

The loan is repaid after selling your property. This property is mortgaged with the lender and hence is sold after your death or having to move into long term care. The money has to be repaid between six to 12 months, dependent upon the equity release lender. The interest is continued to be added to the loan until the property is eventually sold.

Initially, your property will be surveyed and then valued accordingly. This figure will determine how much can be borrowed initially, or if a drawdown scheme how much of an overall cash facility will be provided by the equity release company.

This scheme is meant for senior citizens to enjoy life to the full without depending on anyone.


To speak to one of thye Equity Release Supermarket specialists call 0800 678 5159


The Halifax Retirement Home Plan – The Quest To Find Mortgages For Pensioners?

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Planning for your retirement in essence should start in your earlier years; however as we know life unfortunately doesn’t always go to plan!

Here we discuss the merits of the niche interest only mortgage product; the Halifax Retirement Home Plan which is becoming an increasingly popular way of providing mortgages for pensioners.

Since writing my original article on the Halifax Equity Release plan (click here to view), interest has certainly been escalating. The main reason being that people in retirement are unaware of their mortgage options once they finish work. But life must go on.


What is the history of the scheme?

Established in 1984, the Halifax Retirement Home Plan was initially available through the Halifax branch network and was developed to provide low cost mortgage finance for the retired & elderly.

However, under the Financial Services Authority review of the lifetime mortgage market in 2006, Halifax withdrew the branch license to offer lifetime mortgage advice.

Therefore, the responsibility for providing advice on the Halifax Retirement Home Plan was left completely with lifetime mortgage qualified advisers including independent specialists Equity Release Supermarket.


So what is the Halifax Retirement Home Plan?

In simple terms the scheme is an interest only mortgage for people who are retired & facilitates the release of equity tied up in the property. The release of funds can be for almost any purpose including:-

  • Debt consolidation including paying off credit cards/loans or mortgages
  • Holidays including cruises or just day trips
  • Replacement car or caravan
  • Home improvements
  • Gifts to the children providing a deposit for house purchase
  • Supporting your lifestyle through retirement.

Qualification for the Halifax equity release scheme is based on income. Halifax will only accept non-earned income & this must be in the form of: –

  • Occupational pensions
  • Private pensions such as personal pensions or retirement annuities
  • State pensions
  • State benefits including pension credits & disability benefits

The stated minimum age for the Halifax Retirement Home Plan is 65. However, as long as there is no earned income & justification for the size of the mortgage can be based solely on the above income, then ages lower than 65 can be achieved.


How much can be released?

The minimum release on the Halifax Retirement Home Plan is only £15,000. However, to establish the maximum release possible would require the use of an affordability calculator.

Halifax does not base the size of release on a multiple of income, but whether the interest only mortgage can be afforded through retirement.

The data Halifax requires for this calculation includes income, credit status, number of applicants & credit commitments outstanding after the new mortgage commences.

This procedure can be carried out by qualified adviser such as Equity Release Supermarket & is an accurate assessment of the potential borrowings on this scheme.

The overall maximum release available can never be more than 75% of the valuation of the property. Therefore, should the affordability calculator show a figure greater than this, it will still be capped at 75% of the property value.


Does Halifax require a repayment vehicle?

The answer to this is NO.

As the Halifax Retirement Home Plan is an interest only mortgage for pensioners, no form of repayment is required.

In contrast, the mainstream mortgage market is actually tightening its grip on new interest only mortgages, whereas this Halifax equity release scheme will still accept repayment by virtue of the eventual sale of the property. This would be on death of the surviving partner, moving into long term care or earlier property sale.

The term allocated to the Halifax home retirement plan is 40 years which should provide ample time for it to run for the rest of one’s life! This removes any concern about having to find the funds to pay off the Halifax scheme during your lifetime.

Most mortgage providers will only accept a mortgage term upto age 70-75 or in rare instances age 85. However, this only buys time as eventual repayment would be required. However, this scenario may still be suitable should one be downsizing at a predetermined date in the future.

The Halifax Retirement Home Plan therefore removes any element of capital repayment risk.


So what interest rates & products are available?

Dependent upon whether you are a new or existing Halifax customer will determine the interest rates & products applicable.


Currently, the better deals are offered to new customers as they have access to the whole mainstream Halifax product range. This is a great advantage, as there is full access to current low rate tracker & fixed rate products. Click here for the latest interest only mortgage rates…

These include deals such as the current 2 year tracker rate at just 2.59%. Based on borrowing £50,000 this currently would only cost £107.92pm (3.6% APR).


Additionally, if remortgaging from another lender then there is the benefit of a free valuation & free standard legal fees, which reduces the set up costs significantly. I have experienced clients who have just £800 outstanding on a mortgage or even documents kept in deed store that qualified for this free remortgage package!


What if I already have a Halifax mortgage?

The good news is you can still apply for the Halifax Retirement Home Plan. However, the situation here requires completely different advice & procedure. Should you wish to merely transfer onto the Retirement Home Plan then you can port over your existing rate which can be good news if on a standard variable rate. However, if you wish for additional borrowing then the process becomes a little more complicated.

The product range for existing Halifax customers is rather sparse & with the best deals starting currently at 4.99% fixed, hence there is a distinct advantage for new customers.


Such applications will be paper based & therefore processed manually which involves more human input. Experience has shown this results in a different underwriting approach to the process undertaken on new applications.


Can I pay off the Halifax Retirement mortgage early?

The simple answer to this is YES.

Unlike equity release plans where penalties can potentially apply for the rest of your life, the Halifax interest only mortgage will only have early repayment charges for the initial product term. Therefore, should you have opted for the 2.59% 2 year tracker product discussed previously, the penalties would only apply for the first 2 years. After, this 2 year period the mortgage would then revert to the Halifax standard variable rate, currently 3.5%.

However, before the initial rate expires you will have the option to take out a new product from the Halifax mortgage range available at that time.


So what is the advantage of the Halifax Retirement Home Plan over an equity release scheme?

The obvious answer to this is the fact that the Halifax mortgage is interest only & therefore requires a monthly payment of interest. The balance will always remain the same throughout the term of the plan. E.g. borrowing £50,000 today, will result in £50,000 requiring repayment once the house is sold.

In contrast, equity release schemes do not require any monthly repayment & therefore the balance will increase over time. Roughly speaking the balance of equity release schemes will double every 10/11 years.

From a beneficiary’s point of view, the Halifax interest only mortgage will guarantee an inheritance, as the final balance of the mortgage will always be known. This would be favourable for people who want to ensure the children definitely receive an entitlement to their parent’s inheritance.


With all this information & options available it is more important than ever to receive specialist advice to obtain the best deal for your personal circumstances.

Equity Release Supermarket can provide independent advice on both equity release schemes & interest only mortgages for pensioners.

For further information or to request a quotation, please ring Mark on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk


Equity Release – Unlock Money From Your Home

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Are you suffering from financial problems? If your answer is yes and you are above a certain age you should look at equity release. Today, many older homeowners are opting for equity release schemes instead of using bank loans & credit cards.

This is because equity release allows you to get cash against the value of your home, however with no monthly payments. One of the best things about these schemes is that they allow you to stay in your home for the rest of your life.


If you have decided to look at equity release schemes then you need to employ the services of a specialist equity release adviser who will help you find the best deal. To enjoy the benefits offered by equity release, you have to eligible.


Here are few factors required to qualify for equity release schemes:

• You should be above 55 years of age
• You must be a homeowner & be your main residence
• The property should be in the UK
• Value of the property must be above £75,000 or over


At present, two different equity release schemes have been introduced to the market. These are the home reversion plan and the lifetime mortgage.


The attractive features offered by equity release

By opting for equity release, you can either get a lump sum amount of cash, regular income or both. Equity release schemes offer a tax-free amount of money & can be paid directly into your bank account once funds have been release by the equity release provider. This means that you can not only live in your home for the rest of your life, but you can also enjoy time with your family.


To discuss your individual requirements with confidentiality, please contact Mark on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk


Equity Release Schemes – Get A Steady Income After Your Retirement

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Are you wondering how would you cope up with your financial requirements after retirement? Do you want to live a comfortable and luxurious life in your old age? Are you looking for ways to get a steady flow of income after your retirement? If your answers these questions are yes, you can consider opting for an equity release scheme.


Equity release schemes are the perfect solution for homeowners who want to unlock the equity they have built up in their property.

Most people do not know what equity release is and how can it help them. Seeking professional advice can provide a clear understanding about different types of equity release schemes.


Equity release schemes – what are the available options?

Equity release on property is of two different types – a home reversion plan and a lifetime mortgage. Homeowners can opt for either of the above options. However, the suitability of equity release schemes varies with the needs of the retirees.

In the home reversion plan, you need to sell your home partly or completely to an equity release company. In return, you will receive either a lump sum or monthly income from the equity release company. The amount you receive from the equity release company will depend on the current value of your property & your age.

Home reversion equity release schemes are available for senior citizens of 65 years or more. After opting for equity release, borrowers can continue to stay in their home, which is one of the biggest advantages of the scheme. After the borrower passes away, the home reversion company will sell the property and recover the loan amount.


The lifetime mortgage encompasses the roll-up schemes whereby the mortgagor retains 100% ownership of the property. No monthly payments are required.

Interest is charged & added to the balance on an annual or monthly basis depending on the equity release provider. Therefore the balance will increase over the period of the loan, which in turn can reduce the inheritance of one’s beneficiaries. However, all SHIP plans have the no negative equity guarantee included which ensures that no debt can be passed onto the beneficiaries.


Types of Equity Release Schemes You Can Benefit From

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Equity release schemes help to release equity from your property. The main advantage is you do not lose the ownership of your home when you have received the money.

The two types of equity release schemes available are lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans.


Lifetime mortgages

If you go for a lifetime mortgage then you can secure a loan against your property and receive cash that can be spent in any way. You also do not have to worry about monthly repayments. Lifetime mortgages have become popular in recent years and this has encouraged many equity release providers to introduce variations in lifetime mortgages called drawdown plans. With a drawdown plan, you can release equity when you require it instead of taking a lump sum at once.


Advantages of lifetime mortgages

You can retain the ownership of your property and stay in your home for the rest of your life. Some lifetime mortgages provide you with an option to let you protect a percentage of your property in order to pass on a guaranteed inheritance. Click here for further details.


Home reversion plans

With a home reversion plan, you can sell a part of your home or your full property in return for tax-free cash. It also offers a lifetime lease with no monthly payments.

You are allowed to stay in your home without paying any rent as long as you want. If the value of your property increases in future, both you and the home reversion company can enjoy the profits.


For further information on any of these schemes please complete your request here or ring freephone 0800 678 5159.


Want To Enjoy Your Retirement? Opt For Equity Release

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Equity release schemes are specially designed to help homeowners who want to release some amount of cash against their properties. If you are retired and your pension is not enough to meet all your expenses then equity release is can be of benefit under the right circumstances. By opting for these schemes, you can get a lump sum release from the equity tied up in your home.

Today, different equity release schemes have been introduced by financial institutions to fulfill several requirements. Leading companies in this field are Aviva, Just Retirement, LV=, Hodge Lifetime, more2life, Bridgewater & Home & Capital.


Home reversion plans – By opting for these schemes, you can sell all or a part of your home for cash. The lenders receive their money by selling the property after you pass on or move into care. You can live rent free in the property with the aid of a lifetime tenancy provided by the home reversion company.


Lifetime mortgages – Under this equity release scheme, you can release cash without worrying about the repayments. Interest is rolled up which needs to be paid at the end of the scheme. The money is paid to the lender by selling the property. The best thing about this equity release scheme is that it allows you to live in your home for the rest of your life.


Of the above mentioned options, you can choose the one which suits your financial requirements. Both the equity release schemes offer tax –free money which can be used in several ways such as for home improvements, buying a second home or paying off outstanding debts. Many people also go on a holiday with their family and friends with this money.


If you have decided to apply for an equity release scheme then employ the services of  a independent equity release adviser who will help you in making the right decision.

All Equity Release Supermarket’s financial advisers are qualified with the appropriate licenses to enable you to receive advice. To speak to one of the advisers click here.


Alternatively, you can ring 0800 678 5159 to discuss your requirements further.


Equity Release – Two Types Of Plans Available

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Equity release schemes are a great option if you are looking for an alternative way to gain cash. Retired individuals may find it difficult to live a comfortable life due to rising costs. Equity release schemes benefit those who are asset rich but cash poor.


There are two main types of equity release plans – lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans.


Lifetime mortgages

Lifetime mortgages are plans where you get a secured loan on your property with no monthly interest payments. The loan amount can be either taken as a lump sum or as monthly instalments. Lifetime mortgages have become popular over the past few years and this has encouraged many equity release providers to come up with variations on the scheme known as drawdown plans.

A drawdown plan allows you to release cash when you need it instead of taking the entire lump sum or regular monthly payments. This means that you will pay less interest over the longer term than if you took the whole amount as one release at the outset.


Home reversion plans

With home reversion plans, you can sell either part or all of your property to the equity release provider. You are not liable to pay any taxes for the amount received and you also get an assured lifetime lease with no monthly instalments to pay.

Even after you have sold off your property, you get to stay in your house rent free for a time period that you choose.

The older you are, the larger amount you can raise from a home reversion plan. Thus, age can be an important factor when going for this scheme.


Equity Release – A Quick Guide To All The Schemes Available

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Equity release is a financial solution that is available for UK residents who are over 55 years of age. It refers to a financial product that releases equity that homeowners have built up in their property.

The amount of equity that can be released from a property is based on the age of the applicant and the property value. Most equity release schemes offer a lump sum to homeowners. However, one can also opt for monthly payments.

Individuals can opt for equity release schemes to fulfil different needs including home improvements and holidays. The money can also serve as a supplement to their current income or can be used to help children or grandchildren to purchase new property.


Who can benefit from equity release schemes?

Equity release lifetime mortgages can offer a financial solution to individuals who are asset rich but cash poor. It can create a huge difference between simply getting by or living and benefiting from old age and retirement.


Advantages of equity release

• No need of making any monthly payments
• You can still live in your property for the rest of your life
• Debt is repaid after the last surviving applicant passes away by selling the property
• No negative equity guarantee ensures that you cannot owe more than your property is worth

If you are over 55, retired and looking for a way to generate additional income, equity release is the best solution.

Contact Equity Release Supermarket’s team of experienced advisers to get the best advice from the range of equity release schemes available. Ring freephone 0800 678 5159 today.


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