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Archive for the ‘Halifax Retirement Home Plan’ Category

How the New Marsden Retirement Mortgage Can Help Boost Equity Release Lending

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Marsden Retirement MortgageEquity release specialists are crying out for greater innovation in its product range to lenders at a time when the lifetime mortgage market potentially enters the biggest growth phase of its history. Failure to do so could result in products such as the new Marsden Building Society Retirement Mortgage & the Vernon Interest Only Retirement Mortgage shaping retirement lending to the over 55’s in the years to come.

 

Here I would like to share my views on why the equity release industry needs a major rethink of its products, understands more of its consumer requirements & how some of the smaller lenders such as Marsden & Vernon may have an impact on this thought process, even future product design.

 

Is Equity Release Innovating Sufficiently?

The launch in September 2015 of the Marsden Retirement Mortgage could represent a wake up call to equity release companies, which until now have offered little in the way of sweeping changes, consistent with driving the post retirement lending market forward.

 

Until now, lending into retirement has been hampered by the after effects of MMR (Mortgage Market Review) and how lenders gauge affordability for pensioner mortgages. This has seen terms ‘interest only time bomb’ being banded about as high street lenders start reigning in their mortgage book, when normally then would have renewed or extended mortgage terms. This has left mortgagors stranded with the dilemma of having to decide whether to sell & downsize, or find alternative lending such as lifetime mortgages.

 

These mortgage prisoners have been one of the main reasons why the equity release industry has seen major growth recently & should not be fooled somewhat into thinking it itself has played a part in its own expansion. Equity release must not become Mr Complacency. People looking to offload their traditional mortgages in favour of a voluntary repayment lifetime mortgage or interest only lifetime mortgage has been clearly evident at Equity Release Supermarket. This market has still not reached its peak, yet innovative products are still out of reach for this purge in demand awaiting redemption & rebirth.

 

The Corridor of Uncertainty that exists between Residential Mortgages & Equity Release

With some recent relaxation in retirement lending rules, some residential mortgage lenders are set to take advantage by introducing retirement mortgage products that can fill the ‘corridor of uncertainty’ between the traditional mortgage market & equity release schemes. This void exists due to the gap in both distribution and the advisory process, but mainly the lack of products that can fill this area.

 

For instance people looking to borrow at age 60 over say a 20 year term looking for a 40% release of equity would struggle currently to raise such an amount. The reason being mortgage lenders are frowning upon lending beyond 70-75 and equity release providers have loan-to-value ratios at 60 that are insufficient to release this amount. So where can these people go?

 

Their prospects are currently limited to several companies, one of which is only accessible via advisers with lifetime mortgage permissions. This is the creditable Hodge Retirement Mortgage. Several smaller, local building societies will lend on an individually underwritten basis, but are obscure in research and not looking for large mortgage books for this kind of product. We saw this effect when the Halifax Retirement Home Plan eventually had to be withdrawn due to demand in July 2011.

 

The future of the equity release market lies in the hands of the lenders who define the products on offer to the over 55 lifetime mortgage brigade. 2015 for me is the landmark year that could evidence how these products are to be aligned in the years to come. With the upheaval to annuity sales and the new pension freedoms in place, equity release has remained too rigid in concept, yet has seen buoyancy, despite its many detractors in the press. Yes this is positive news, yet does not address the underlying issues within the equity release industry.

 

How Non-Traditional Equity Release Companies Can offer Equity Release

Recent news & industry talk is that smaller traditional building society’s are set to move in to the retirement lending space, which effectively could throw a spanner in the works of some equity release lenders and advisory firms who do not embrace these products. The term ‘equity release’ is generic, yet advisers & product providers alike, associate this term with either a lifetime mortgage or home reversion scheme.

Wrong! Equity release simply attributes itself to any form of mortgage vehicle then enables the release of equity from a homeowner’s property. The industry needs to move away from the stigma of historic equity release terminology & move into a new era of flexibility, innovation & a market not defined by just 9 lenders offering copycat products. If these lenders do not embrace the changes needed, other traditional lenders could spot their opportunity & move in.

 

This has started already. With news of two new bold retirement mortgages from what would be classed as two of the somewhat ‘smaller’ building societies. The first to launch was the Vernon Building Society’s Interest Only Retirement Mortgage with two rates dependent upon whether a LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney) was in place & registered with the Court of Protection; an unusual move, but clever thinking behind this. The Vernon’s non-LPA rate at 4.45% (4.9% representative APR) is actually higher than the Hodge Retirement Mortgage at 4.39% (4.7% representative APR), so a welcome addition, but not groundbreaking.

 

Why the Marsden Retirement Mortgage is Competitively Advantaged

The launch of the Marsden Retirement Mortgage plan is significantly different to the Hodge Retirement Mortgage. The Marsden has no affiliation with the Equity Release Council and therefore no constraints with regards to no negative equity guarantees and membership. This can provide greater freedom & the passage of savings in interest, clearly evident on this products launch interest rates of either 2.79% or 2.99% discounted rates, dependent on whether the interest only, or capital & interest route is selected.

 

The Marsden Building Society have made this semi exclusive retirement mortgage plan only available only through qualified intermediaries. This is not a direct to consumer product and is a move commensurate with ensuring best advice is given to a potentially vulnerable age group.

 

The Marsden Retirement Mortgage Product in Finer Detail

The minimum age at application for this mortgage in retirement product is age 55, with a maximum term being 30 years, hence this is not a lifetime mortgage. It is available to anyone looking to make a new house purchase, remortgage away from an existing mortgage provider, maybe due to expiry, or even general capital raising purposes where no mortgage exists currently. This could be for home improvements, gifting to children/family or any other lifestyle choices that make an improvement to their standard of living in retirement.

 

This Marsden pensioner mortgage is available on an interest only retirement mortgage basis or even capital & repayment. The option selected will be reflected in the interest rate which at launch in September 2015 are discounted until 31.01.18 at which point it will revert to the Marsden standard variable rate currently 5.95%. At this point no early repayment charges will exist.

 

The minimum release of equity is £50,000 and the maximum loan that would be considered is £500,000. Properties are accepted in England & Wales only & must be valued at least £200,000.

 

Set up costs are competitive priced compared to equity release schemes. There is a free valuation on properties upto £500,000 and booking fee & arrangement fees of £299 each. For remortgages a fee assisted package is available where standard legals fees are covered along with free valuation fee as previously mentioned.

 

Other essential features of this retirement mortgage are as follows: –

 

  • Income multiples are 4.5x single & joint incomes, subject to affordability checks
  • Minimum income levels are £20,000pa, either single or joint.
  • Only pension income can be accepted, but rental & investment income can be considered
  • Maximum loan-to-values are 40% for interest-only & 60% for repayment mortgages
  • For interest only a sensible repayment method must be in place at the end of the term

 

Summary

The way forward for the post retirement lending arena is a swathe of flexible, transparent mortgage plans that meet the varied need of retirees. Whether this be a lifetime mortgage, retirement mortgage or interest only lifetime mortgage the key word is CHOICE. The Marsden Retirement Mortgage is just the start of new lenders filling the void between equity release plans & standard residential mortgages.

 

For more information & advice on which form of equity release is best for you, or to request a Marsden Retirement Mortgage quote, please contact Mark Gregory on 07966 889597 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

Stonehaven Equity Release Rebrand to ‘Retirement Advantage’

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Stonehaven + MGM Advantage rebrand as Retirement Advantage
Further evidence of the progress & changes within the equity release industry has been witnessed this week after Stonehaven rebranded its name to ‘Retirement Advantage’. With effect from 26th May 2015, all Stonehaven’s equity release plans will come under the umbrella of Retirement Advantage.

 

 

Who are Stonehaven?

Stonehaven equity release was formed in 2006 as a provider of not just traditional lump sum lifetime mortgages, but innovative interest only lifetime mortgages with a difference. Their concept of being able to service the interest, thus rendering a level lifetime mortgage balance outlived the more conventional mortgage products such as the Halifax Retirement Home Plan which was withdrawn in August 2011.

 

Stonehaven = Innovation

To date, the Stonehaven range of interest only lifetime mortgages have stood the test of time. It is only recently that new hybrid versions of the Stonehaven Interest Select plans have been developed & now introduced. These voluntary repayment plans from the likes of Hodge Lifetime, Aviva, Newlife & now following suit – Stonehaven, have revolutionised the way equity release is perceived. It is now just the general public & journalists who need to take note of the new wave of flexible lifetime mortgages that can be tailored to any client’s requirements.

 

Stonehaven’s Recent history

Stonehaven’s success resulted in the company being taken over by MGM in 2014 and slowly their products have been redesigned & renamed accordingly, with a simplification of their offering – Interest Select, Lump Sum & Voluntary Select. Each product now has two further options depending on the level of borrowing required (loan-to-value) & ultimately also affects the interest rate applied. Board level changes have since occurred and the people who were at the core of their initial operation and built their model around the wider distribution model of using mortgage intermediaries as a source of referral business, have since departed.

 

The New Retirement Arena

We now have a new era in retirement planning & finances. With the demographics of the UK changing, longevity & health factors all combining to make insurers change the way the retirement landscape is evolving. The recent annuity changes have impacted severely on annuity providers of which MGM Advantage has been a major player in this market. These annuity & life insurance companies have had to rethink how retirees will need to manage their finances and stretch them further into retirement. This is probably only the start of what is to come for the over 55’s in the new retirement arena as new products are developed to cater for their needs.

 

MGM and Stonehaven Together = Retirement Advantage

Bringing together two successful retirement companies should lead to a complement of retirement products that can provide retirement solutions. Both MGM Advantage’s annuity and Stonehaven’s lifetime mortgage products are therefore suited to this retirement solution goal. The new retirement brand of Retirement Advantage will further strengthen their retirement proposition with a new retirement account launching soon.

 

Retirement Advantage is therefore one of the first significant mergers we may see in the retirement arena as equity lenders & insurers vie for the ever more lucrative retirement space. Equity release and annuities are changing for the better, hopefully the sign of more innovative thinking ahead.

 

For details on Retirement Advantage product range visit our website here where all their lifetime mortgage deals are listed along with a quote request facility.

Alternatively, please call Mark Gregory on 07966 889597 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk to discuss this further.

Revealed – How the Bank of Mum & Dad use Equity Release to Fund 1st Time Buyers

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Bank of Mum & Dad

 

It has recently come to my attention, having watched my own daughter attempt to buy her 1st property, how difficult it has become for 1st time buyers to fulfil their dreams of becoming a homeowner.

 

It also occurred to me that EQUITY RELEASE could in fact play a significant role in assisting the “Bank of Mum and Dad” and others in providing funds to enable these dreams to come true.

 

First some FACTS:

  • The average age for 1st time buyers is now 29
  • 2/3rds of 1st time buyers now turn to the Bank of Mum and Dad (BoMAD) for help
  • 30 years ago 12% of income was needed for a deposit on a property. Today this is staggering 82%!
  • The cost of an average house in the UK is 10 times bigger than the average salary rising to 14 times in London
  • In all but 2 regions in the UK, prices are 7 or more times the average salary for that area (Office of National Statistics)
  • More than 3.3 million 20-34 year olds were still living with their parents in 2013

 

Although these figures clearly indicate it is becoming almost impossible for 1st time buyers to get on the property ladder, help could be at hand – YES, from the “Bank of Mum and Dad”

 

Parents are an obvious first point of call. However with rising living costs, low interest rates and diminishing savings pots, it has become increasingly more difficult for mum and dad to find surplus funds to gift to their children, grandchildren or loved ones, to assist in fulfilling the dream of property ownership.

 

However, there could be a way to take an early inheritance from parents now in order to benefit 1st time buyers when the money is needed the most!

 

A special type of retirement mortgage commonly known as Equity Release could potentially unlock cash tied up in a parent’s property. This can enable mum & dad to generate sufficient funds to gift as a deposit on a property purchase for their loved ones.

 

What is equity release?

Equity release schemes are available in two formats – home reversion & the more popular lifetime mortgage. Both of these equity release schemes enable people who own their main residence to release a percentage of its value in return for a tax-free cash lump sum. These two types of equity release mortgages then run for the rest of your life & only repaid once upon death or moving into long term care.

 

The equity release scheme known as a lifetime mortgage has proven the most popular due to its flexibility. This has been strengthened this year with providers such as Hodge Lifetime & Aviva both providing an option to repay upto 10% of the original capital borrowed each year. Therefore, control over its final balance, or even repayment of the whole scheme over the longer term could represent a serious possibility, for either parents to pay, or the children themselves!

 

Lifetime mortgages are available to those aged 55+, with a minimum property value of £60,000. The amount that can be borrowed is not always based on affordability, but on factors such as age & property value. Effectively, the older you are, the greater amount of equity you can release.

 

Following a release of the equity, the lifetime mortgage company places a first legal charge on the property. This is exactly the same as any conventional mortgage and 100% legal ownership is still retained by the client providing peace of mind.

 

Typically, someone age 60 could release equity of between 18-25.5% of the value of the property, dependent on the lender concerned. These equity release funds can be spent on anything you like, however a sensible & cautious approach is always advised. Therefore, parents looking to assist their children onto the property ladder, a lifetime mortgage could prove an effective mortgage vehicle to achieve this goal.

 

Which equity release schemes can help 1st time buyers?

Equity release schemes have become a lot more flexible and innovative these days. You can choose to make NO repayments and have the interest added to the loan which is known as a roll-up lifetime mortgage. The amount borrowed plus any interest accrued is repaid upon sale of the property. This would happen on death (last death if joint plan) or having to go into long term permanent care. Thought must be given here should there be more than one beneficiary. With an increasing balance & possibly reducing net equity figure, consideration must be afforded to any remaining beneficiaries as to what they may potentially receive at the end of the day?

 

However, there are new repayment versions of equity release schemes that have proven even more popular with parents looking to securely gift money to their children to help with a property purchase.

 

Interest only lifetime mortgages from Stonehaven & more2life will allow the repayment of just the interest only element. By repaying interest charged each month prevents the loan from increasing and thus remains level for the rest of the mortgagor’s life. This is a great idea when there is more than one child involved. The problem has always been how to separate the gift now, from the overall inheritance at the end of the day if more than one child is involved?

 

The solution is having an interest only lifetime mortgage. By knowing in advance what the balance will be, this loan amount can be deducted from that child’s share of the inheritance at the end of the day. This would be even fairer for the other siblings, should that child also pay the monthly premiums on behalf of the Bank of Mum & Dad!

 

NEW -Voluntary partial repayment plans

Equity Release Supermarket now has access to specialist equity release schemes where there is the option to repay up to 10% of the original capital released each year without any early repayment charges. These equity release schemes through Aviva & Hodge Lifetime have proved popular for those not just looking to repay the interest, but also the opportunity to repay the equity release scheme in full over approximately 16-17 years. These voluntary partial repayment equity release schemes are proving to be the next generation of the equity release market.

 

How is the Bank of Mum & Dad protected?

All the equity release schemes we recommend are members of the Equity Release Council, which means that there are certain guarantees built into them for consumer protection. As a minimum the Equity Release Council will ensure the following guarantees are included:-

  • The schemes are portable and can be transferred to another qualifying property should you wish to move in the future
  • There is a no-negative equity guarantee which means a debt cannot be left to your estate even if the value of the property becomes less than the balance of the loan outstanding
  • You can live in your house for as long as you wish and with a lifetime mortgage you retain full ownership
  • They can be repaid at any time, subject to potential early repayment charges

 

Benefits of using Equity Release

Contrary to directly gifting your property to your children, by using equity release to gift instead, would avoid any Capital Gains Tax as the main residence is retained by the client. There could still be a potential Inheritance Tax liability, but only if the client died within 7 years of the gift.

 

The lifetime mortgage would be a deductible liability against the client’s estate, reducing the value being taxed and although interest would have to be paid on the loan; this could still prove beneficial to both the client and those receiving the gift. Always consult a tax expert on these matters in conjunction with your independent equity release adviser.

 

Of course let’s not forget the best part of this!

 

The potential to fulfil the dreams of our loved ones in an age where quite frankly, property purchase is almost becoming nothing more than just a dream for some. The joys of parenthood!

 

Next Steps…

I would be delighted to offer a FREE initial consultation to discuss any of the above matters relating to how equity release can help your children step onto the property ladder.

 

Please call me on 07788 605620 or 0203 7517228 or email cathy@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

Will Equity Release Providers Accept Repayments of Interest and/or Capital?

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

A common question that the over 55’s are asking these days is whether equity release schemes are flexible enough to accept repayments of interest and/or capital. With an increasing financially savvy population, particularly those approaching their retirement, this poses an interesting debate.

 

Typically, equity release plans have been associated with the roll-up lifetime mortgage principle, whereby NO monthly payments are necessary. For many retirees this is a daunting prospect given the fact that with the compounding of interest, the inheritance they would leave behind could be severely reduced, if not eliminated.

 

Equity release innovation needed

Equity release providers have therefore been posed themselves the question about how to develop this sector that has historically been devoured of innovation. This lends us back to the original scenario regarding the switched nature of the over 55’s, and how they are now demanding more equity release plans to meet their changing needs.

The baby boomer age group has historically grown up on a life of credit lines such as their residential mortgage, personal loans, hire purchase and credit/store cards. For them, the continuation of a mortgage in retirement is not a serious concern providing adequate pension income is received to fulfil their monthly commitments.

 

Some of these people will have ended up with a mortgage leading into retirement potentially affected by endowment shortfalls or pension fund under performance. Whichever way they have an outstanding mortgage at retirement, there needs to an option available that can address this common problem.

 

Halifax tried and failed

Certain equity release companies have researched this and taken note, particularly given the popularity that the now defunct Halifax Retirement Home Plan. Until August 2011, this Halifax equity release plan offered the over 60’s a mortgage based interest only scheme that would run for the rest of their lives. The void this product has left since being pulled from the market has been enormous and left an opportunity for another interest only provider to fill.

 

Equity release mortgages have now come into their own. Where once they were categorised as a vehicle to enhance lifestyle, they have now become an instrument of necessity, for many who wish to address their retirement shortcomings. These lifetime mortgages can, with product development, provide the ideal solution to an interest only mortgage situation that will only become an even greater issue in years to come.

 

Changes have started

Today the equity release market has opened up and a variety of new plans are now available. 2012 has seen new products come to market that are pushing the boundaries of how the equity release concept can be expanded and accommodate more people into the fold.

 

Therefore, to answer to the question – ‘Do Equity Release Providers Accept Repayments of Interest and/or Capital, the answer is categorically ‘YES’.

 

The next article – ‘Which Equity Release Companies Accept Payments of Interest &/or Capital will discuss the three current equity release providers that will accept repayment of interest and/or capital. Here we can look in greater depth at them: –

 

Hodge Lifetime – Lump Sum Lifetime Mortgage & the Flexible Lifetime Mortgage

Stonehaven – Interest Select Plans – Including Interest Select Lite, Plus, Select & Max

more2life – Interest Choice Plan

 

To discuss these products further call the team on 0800 678 5159 or click here to read the next article on this subject.

The Stonehaven Interest Select Plan Provides Salvation for Those Looking for an Interest Only Lifetime Mortgage

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Products come, & products go; & we have seen the evidence of this by the unfortunate withdrawal from the mortgage market in August 2011 of the Halifax Retirement Home Plan.

 

The global financial crisis has been challenging for many, and retired people or those looking to retire have seen a large amount of value disappear from their pensions. This can be stressful and causes worry, but finance options are still available for those looking to supplement their retirement. Equity Release Supermarket has access to market leading  interest only mortgages which are available only to people over the age of 55 & looking for ways to finance their retirement.

 

An example of such is the interest only lifetime mortgage is the Stonehaven Interest Select Plan. This is a unique and innovative option for many looking for additional financial relief in their retirement, but mindful of any inheritance that they wish to pass onto the heirs. Thus pensioner mortgages are now fully available to anyone over 55 & owning their own home.

 

The innovative Stonehaven Interest Select equity release scheme is unique among interest only mortgages as the total outstanding balance does not change. Instead of the interest rolling up like traditional equity release schemes, the interest on the Stonehaven Interest Select is paid monthly by direct debit. This is often done by the customer, but can be funded via the children or potential inheritors who are looking to keep the amount of debt on the property asset under control.

 

The great thing about the Stonehaven Interest Select equity release scheme is that the total amount of debt is managed for the duration of the interest only lifetime mortgage, making it a great financial product for those looking for interest only mortgages that don’t continue to eat into the ownership of the asset.

 

Due to this controlled nature, the Stonehaven Interest Select mortgages are fixed interest rate lifetime mortgages, the security of which many find appealing.

Stonehaven also provides a no negative equity guarantee, so even if the financial crisis worsens; there is no risk that a burden of debt will be passed on in the inheritance. These are two features which should be discussion points on any kind of interest only lifetime mortgages, as they provide important security and peace of mind.

 

Many people struggling to make ends meet during this financial crisis will be looking for ways to finance their retirement in a controlled fashion. Extra capital can really help to ensure that retirement is financially secure. At the same time, those looking for equity release schemes might be looking for control over how much value is traded for this additional security. Their research journey could start with the roll-up lifetime mortgage option, unaware that they are still eligible for an interest only mortgage even into retirement. Therefore, do not fall into the trap that some equity release brokerages will not advise this type of scheme is available. They may receive higher commission levels than payable by other companies, & this should not sway their advice.

 

Thats why approaching Equity Release Supermarket you will always receive comprehensive equity release advice; impartial & quality recommednations from experienced industry advisers.

They will discuss all your equity release options available, and endeavouring to find the right equity release solution for you. However, if your priority is to control the amount of equity that is being released from your main asset, then the Stonehaven Interest Select plan is THE innovative option to consider.

 

For further details on Stonehaven equity release plans please call Mark on freephone 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk.

 

Do Stonehaven Offer A Real Interest Only Lifetime Mortgage Solution Following the Demise of the Halifax Retirement Home Plan?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Since its withdrawal in August 2011, the Halifax Retirement Home Plan has certainly left a void in the post retirement mortgage market. What options remain for pensioner mortgages?

 

Pensioners, who were proposing to use the Halifax Retirement Home Plan at a future date, unaware of its impending withdrawal, have now had their retirement plans severely disrupted.

Enquiries are still being received from retirees looking for a pensioner mortgage which can be used for a variety of lifestyle solutions.

With options from moving house, to holidays, gifting to children & home improvements, there has been a significant reduction in the interest only mortgage options available.

 

So why was the Halifax Retirement Home Plan Withdrawn?

Enormous demand for the Halifax Retirement Home Plan apparently consigned the product to its own demise. Success is not usually associated with dramatic failure, but it seems the Halifax Retirement Home Plan was in this case, a victim of its own success.

Given the volume of applications Halifax was receiving, even a lender the size of Halifax was struggling with such popularity. Towards its latter days the Halifax back office systems were choking, solicitors being incorrectly instructed & timescales reaching unacceptable levels, so much so that Halifax have actually compensated clients due to administrative errors.

 

Reasons for the Halifax Retirement Home Plan’s Popularity

Since the products inception in July 1984, the Retirement Home Plan lay hidden in Halifax’s mortgage book for many years.

However, certain intermediaries specialising in equity release, subsequently understood the product had a role to play in providing best advice & offered an alternative to roll-up equity release schemes.

Not everyone is suited to a lifetime equity release scheme where the interest rolls up & compounds annually for the rest of their lives. Roll-up schemes to some pensioners can prove off extremely off-putting, with the balance approximately doubling every 10-11 years. The resultant effect & the impact of the compounding of interest will be that their beneficiaries will receive a significantly lower or completely eroded inheritance.

 

Therefore, for retirees who did not want this scenario, the interest only lifetime mortgage proved an excellent alternative. Obviously supported by a good secure disposable income, the Halifax monthly mortgage payments could be fulfilled, with the resultant effect of keeping the mortgage balance exactly the same for the remainder of the mortgage term.

However, the doomsday scenario did eventually arrive & the Halifax Retirement Home Plan was pulled on 17th August 2011 at very short notice.

 

Regulation & the FSA Effect

With the FSA (Financial Services Authority) now imposing stricter regulation on interest only mortgages, this has impacted on the whole post retirement mortgage market.

Regulation here should be reviewed & consideration given to the plight of pensioners.

Over 60’s looking for finance have fixed income for life.

They are already drawing their state, private & occupational pensions.

They are therefore in receipt of a guaranteed income for life.

They can’t be made redundant, be off work due to sickness or take maternity leave!

 

Additionally & historically the retired generation of today have a different attitude to credit & tend to err on the side of caution. They have benefitted from house price booms of the last decades & consequently on the whole have a great deal of equity to release in their properties.

From a lenders perspective you can’t get much better security than this?

 

So why are the over 60’s being penalised?

After discussions with various lenders their defence has supposedly been the fragility of repayment. Considering monthly mortgage payments are paid by direct debit & pensions & retirement incomes are paid directly into the bank account, this doesn’t seem to hold true?

The distinction should be therefore be made between the people pre retirement & those post retirement with regards to interest only mortgages.

The FSA has understandably clamped down on first time buyers & mid life mortgagors taking out interest only mortgages with NO repayment vehicles. However, this has been to the detriment of pensioners whose cause has been undermined.

So for now we have to accept the level of caution in the mortgage market. However, moving forward consultation & consideration should be given to this corner of the mortgage market as it can have additional benefits to a fragile economy.

 

The reason being is that pensioners releasing equity in retirement do so mainly for lifestyle reasons:-

  • Home improvements
  • Deposits for the children
  • Holidays
  • New car/caravan

All these expenditures for one reason or another will help boost both the local & national economy.

 

What Interest Only Pensioner Mortgages Are Currently Available?

The aforementioned issues have arisen with the tightening of interest only criteria. Lenders will now insist on most mortgages expiring by age 75 & this will usually have to be on capital & repayment basis. More often than not this will result in the monthly cost being prohibitive, as paying off a mortgage of £50,000 over a short term of say 10 years can be out of most people’s affordability levels!

Nevertheless, a specialist equity release lender has analysed the situation better than most & hence we unveil the Stonehaven Interest Select Plan.

Offering SHIP security & choice as to the size of the monthly contribution, Stonehaven have covered all bases. This interest only lifetime mortgage provides lifetime fixed interest rates starting from just 6.13% thereby offering affordability now & into the future. With pension incomes rising over the years, but the monthly mortgage payments guaranteed to remain the same, the Stonehaven interest only equity release plan provides protection from future increases in interest rates.

However, it doesn’t end there because if financial difficulties do arise then there is always the option to switch it over to a roll-up equity release plan with Stonehaven. No further payments are then required & dependent upon whether the switch was planned ahead or not, will determine whether an extra 0.2% is added to the rate.

Stonehaven are members of SHIP & regulated by the FSA.

 

Rumour has it that niche lenders are now starting to look into pensioner mortgages & eyeing business opportunities, so there does seem to be light at the end of the retirement rainbow!

 

If you wish to make an enquiry on the Stonehaven Interest Select call the Equity Release Supermarket team on Freephone 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

Interesting Equity Release Plans For You To Consider

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

The ever increasing price rises are a concern for everyone. Inflation today has been quoted at 5.4% & therefore pressure is being exerted on mortgage & equity release interest rates. People who have retired and have a limited pension are in a worse situation than in the past. Their pension does not allow them to fulfil even their basic needs, let alone luxuries. In this hard and fast world, pensioners often feel secluded and uncared for.

 

However, all is not doom & gloom for those with properties & equity tied up within them. Mortgages haven’t tended to be the focus for the retired. Their credit history tends to err on caution rather than frivolous in nature. Yet credit trends are changing with the acceptance of new credit lines & leniency towards the children’s inheritance. So more emphasis is being placed on the release of equity from lifetime mortgage schemes.

 

If you have not heard about equity release, then we will help you to understand all about it. Equity release schemes allow you to generate extra money over and above your pension. If you are one whose money is in limited supply, equity release schemes could be the answer for you. If you own property, you can apply for any type of equity release scheme. Your property enables you to release tax free cash which can be taken in stage payments or as a one off lump sum.  This additional cash helps you to live your life properly and with all the luxuries you have become used to.  More common reasons for equity release UK plans are home improvements, new car, holidays, gifting to the children or to help with the purchase of a new property.

 

There are many plans you can apply for, but drawdown equity release schemes are now the most popular. These roll-up equity release schemes offer an overall cash facility from which you can take money from as & when required. By opting for this formula you will only pay interest on cash actually taken & not the funds still held by the equity release company in their reserves.

 

Increasing popular are the interest only lifetime mortgage plans provided by companies such as Stonehaven equity release. Helped by the previous popularity of the Halifax Retirement Home Plan, interest only lifetime mortgages have increased awareness of interest paying mortgages in retirement.

 

Equity release has been in existence for a long time now, but still not everyone knows about it. The equity release trade body SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans) has led a sole crusade in raising awareness by pushing for consumer protection. Thanks to SHIP, today’s equity release schemes can be trusted & applied for without concern.

 

If you need advice on whether equity release or interest only lifetime mortgages are for you then please contact Equity Release Supermarket on 0800 678 5159 or visit the EquityReleaseSupermarket website.

 

URGENT – Withdrawal of The Halifax Retirement Home Plan on 11th August 2011

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

It is with regret that we are notifying all our Equity Release Supermarket enquirers that the Halifax Retirement Home Plan is being withdrawn with effect from the close of business on Wednesday 17th August 2011.

 

After this date NO further applications will be accepted onto this scheme.

Therefore, to take advantage of this plan all applications must have been submitted by 8pm on the evening of the 17th August 2011.

There is some good news for existing retirement home plan mortgage customers in that they will remain unaffected & their terms & conditions will remain in accordance with their mortgage deed.

Post 17th August, no further applications will acceptable & this will be the last chance to gain access to this unique pensioner mortgage.

With further options for interest only lifetime mortgages remaining limited, act now to secure a last minute place on the Halifax Retirement Home Plan scheme.

 

To make a last minute enquiry call the Equity Release Supermarket team immediately on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

Equity Release v Halifax Retirement Home Plan. The winner is?

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Confusion reigns at a time in life when stability, financial security & freedom to enjoy the fruits of one’s success should be evident. Yes, we are talking retirement, equity release & the increasingly popular Halifax Retirement Home Plan.

We discuss the options available to those already retired or the up & coming baby boomer generation, as they prepare to assess how they are to manage in today’s financial maelstrom.

 

For many, & usually it all boils down to lack of financial planning in earlier life; retirement is none of the aforementioned attributes associated with the longest holiday of your life.

We all go through life thinking retirement seems a distance over the horizon. From getting that first job, raising the children & moving up the ranks in the employment world, our lives move forward apace.

But the inevitable will reach us all one day & without foresight retirement could be the biggest challenge in your lifestyle thus far.

 

So how should we prepare & how do we invest in our futures to ensure a retirement of fulfilment?

 

The spoken word, ‘hope for the best, prepare for the worst must have a ring of truth when it comes to retirement planning. It’s a recipe on the menu that’s always put on the back burner & one on the ‘to-do’ list of things that can wait until tomorrow…YOU CAN’T.

 

Looking back at that first job is where the seeds should initially be sown. Whether it’s joining that company pension scheme or making your own provision, a pension should be the life jacket for your retirement.

The old adage of the earlier you start a pension the less you need to pay in later, is gospel & with the tax advantages on offer they still represent one of the best ways to build a pot of gold for the future.

 

But there are other options now available which represent a safer alternative & more hands on approach such as real estate.

The buy to let market is currently undergoing transformation in the current economic climate, with rental incomes outstripping savers returns on bank & building society accounts. There is also the potential capital appreciation aspect of owning a property which has been a tried & tested route for many over the longer term.

Property is a tangible asset; you have control over how it looks, you can manipulate it & affect its value. The sole aim of these actions is to build asset value & thereby probably without hindsight, can build yourself a ‘retirement vehicle’.

 

So let’s see which vehicle will suit your requirements & enable you to navigate down the retirement highway…

 

Firstly, the question that needs to be asked is whether an income or capital lump sum is required? Given the fact that most tax free cash requirements are for capital, the options are then narrowed down to affordability in retirement.

The next important consideration is whether one can support the monthly payments of an interest only mortgage, or are finances so tight that no further monthly payments are required throughout retirement. The answer to this will filter us towards the ultimate decision; that is whether the solution is an interest only lifetime mortgage or a roll-up equity release scheme?

 

On the one hand you have an interest only mortgage, where monthly payments are required to be maintained for the rest of your life & results in a continuously stable & level balance during the remaining term.

This is in complete contrast to a roll-up equity release plan, which requires no monthly payments whatsoever, but allows the interest to compound & the balance of the mortgage to get larger.

Let’s have a look the features of each option further.

 

Roll-Up equity release scheme

  • Classified as a Lifetime mortgage, hence no term is specified
  • Schemes are regulated by the FSA & are also members of SHIP
  • Equity release schemes start at age 55
  • No income required for eligibility
  • Maximum release is 55% of the property value (with ill-health)
  • Credit history is not a major concern to equity release companies
  • No monthly payments required
  • Increasing balance as the interest is compounded monthly or annually
  • Flexibility of drawdown schemes available to take regular cash releases with guaranteed reserve facilities. This ensures future cash availability with no further costs.
  • Interest rates are fixed for life
  • Reduced,  or no  inheritance left for the beneficiaries of the estate
  • Executors have upto 12 months in which to repay the lender, usually by sale of the property

 

Halifax Retirement Home Plan

  • Classified as a Lifetime mortgage, hence no term is specified
  • Pensioner mortgage & regulated by the FSA
  • Starting age is 65, however with enough pension income, over 55’s are acceptable
  • Retirement income alone will determine how much that can be borrowed
  • The maximum amount borrowed is capped at 75% of the property valuation
  • Credit history is checked & any adverse record could result in a declined application
  • Monthly payments must be maintained to avoid repossession
  • Mortgage balance remains exactly the same throughout the plan term
  • Further advance application required to borrow additional funds & will be credit assessed each time for affordability.
  • Option of tracker & fixed rates available, initially for a maximum of 5 years. Therefore, no guarantee of the future costs of the monthly mortgage payments.
  • Reduced inheritance, albeit a specific amount which the beneficiaries will know the extent
  • Beneficiaries have 18 months in which to sell the property, after death or the mortgagors moving into long term care.

 

So the winner is?

There is no actual winner in this pensioner mortgage market.

Both schemes have the advantages & disadvantages depending upon one’s retirement finances.

 

However, if a good retirement & disposable income is available & future affordability secured, then certainly the Halifax Retirement Home Plan is justifiable for the applicants & more so for the beneficiaries. Nevertheless, it is vitally important that steps are also taken to protect each party to the interest only retirement mortgage in case one applicant dies as the survivor will still need to maintain the monthly payments. Therefore, life insurance should always be considered on the Halifax Retirement Home Plan.

 

Alternatively, for those on lower incomes, less of a disposable income & are not too concerned about their children’s inheritance, then a roll-up equity release mortgage could be their preference. The roll-up equity release schemes have no effect on monthly budget & can never result in repossession based on lack of affordability or missed payments.

These schemes can be classed as a ‘mortgage of last resort’ as once all the alternatives have been considered & eliminated. Equity release roll-up can always be the backup plan. Even more so should one default or struggle with the affordability of an interest only lifetime mortgage such as the Halifax Retirement Home Plan, as equity release schemes can be used to clear the Halifax mortgage.

 

The following is an equity release tip – to ensure that equity release can act as a safety net, if you are looking to borrow on a Halifax equity release scheme then always consider & keep within the loan-to-value limits of the equivalent equity release scheme rules. If you do this then you have equity release as a fall back to switch to in the future.

 

There are many more tips & advice available on this subject, but as always seek an independent financial advisory service such as Equity Release Supermarket who are qualified & experienced in these two specialist fields.

 

For help on deciding which type of equity release is best advice for yourself, please contact the Equity Release Supermarket advisory team on freephone 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket .co.uk

 

Equity Release – Retiring Without Worrying About The Future

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Halifax equity release is a good option for retired individuals who want to live a tension-free lifestyle after retirement. Unlike traditional mortgage plans, Halifax equity release is specially designed for individuals who are looking for home safety along with a better lending choice. This mortgage option can be used to raise equity from your property if you are over age 55 & are now in receipt of retirement income.

 

The money raised through the Halifax equity release mortgage can be spent the way you want. So, irrespective of whether you want to go on a holiday, exotic cruise or make home improvements, opting for equity release can be great at meeting your financial needs.

 

With inflation constantly on the rise & budgetary constraints we are all facing currently, retired individuals also are facing a lot of problems coping with their finances. However, there are certain requirements one needs to fulfil in order to qualify for Halifax equity release schemes. For instance, applicants must be above 55, retired and possess property of their own. The amount of equity one can release through this scheme depends on the age, pension income & the market valuation of their property.

 

So, if you are planning to go for Halifax equity release, it is always better to ensure that your property is well-maintained. Additionally, if you have a current mortgage on your property this will need to be repaid on competion of your new Halifax retirement mortgage. This will be paid for from the proceeds of the Halifax application & will be redeemed by the solicitor acting on your behalf. Therefore, whenever the interest only mortgage calculations are made the existing mortgage figure should always be taken into account.

 

The good news however, is that if you do have a current mortgage, no matter the size, & remortgaging to the Halifax Retirement Home Plan then there are some excellent deals available. As of July 2011, Halifax remortgages will provide a FREE valuation, FREE standard legal fees & on some products we can even obtain NO application fee.

 

As there are different Halifax equity schemes available today, you must carefully research your options. This way, you can go for one which suits your needs & receive advice from an independent equity release adviser who can provide you with best advice from the whole of the market.

 

If you wish to discuss the current Halifax Retirement Home Plan deals via Equity Release Supermarket contact the team on freephone 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

 
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