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Not Happy With Your Pension? Can Equity Release Schemes Help?

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Should you have already purchased your annuity from your pension scheme, then unless it is indexed linked by inflation you may now be feeling that has lost some of its purchasing power over the years. With inflationary fears currently still persisting, even with the recent downturn in the UK economy, then people are looking at extra ways to enhance their retirement income & lifestyle.

Obviously, once a pension has been purchased then it is fixed for life, so alternative sources of boosting one’s retirement income need to be sourced.


So how can equity release assist?

Equity release allows you to enjoy the monetary benefits of your assets without having to sell them. This is one of the ways to use the equity locked in your property. Equity release schemes are available only for retired individuals over the age of 55.

There are two types of equity release schemes: Lifetime mortgages and home reversion schemes. Consider the benefits of these two and choose one that suits your requirements. It is prudent to opt for independent financial advice when dealing with equity release schemes.


Lifetime mortgage schemes: These schemes are designed for property owners. They help in gaining money by mortgaging the property. A major benefit of opting for this scheme is that you still remain the sole owner of your property. Individuals over 55 years of age are eligible for lifetime mortgage schemes.

One type of lifetime mortgage scheme called drawdown equity release could be a solution here. The lender will calculate an overall maximum that can be released & from this the applicant can withdraw this reserve facility in small amounts at times to suit one’s requirements. This could be monthly, half yearly or even annually, but the choice is yours. Therefore, by opting for a drawdown scheme could boost your retirement finances with flexibility.


Reversion schemes: Contrary to lifetime mortgage schemes, home reversion schemes require you to sell a part or all of your property to enjoy monetary benefits. A lump sum from one of these schemes can be used to purchase an annuity which could therefore supplement any existing pension scheme.

Dependent on the lump sum raised, age & health & options built into the annuity would determine the regular income to be paid by the annuity provider. Always shop around or seek the advice of an independent financial adviser to ensure the maximum possible income is achieved.



You should be the sole owner of your property prior to mortgaging it. The aforementioned schemes have different age requirements. While lifetime mortgage schemes require an individual to be 55 years of age, home reversion schemes need the individual to be 65 years of age to qualify. Your property will be surveyed and you can qualify for these schemes only if it is worth £60,000 or more.


Equity Release Supermarket have independent financial advisers that can provide advice on both equity release & how to maximise your retirement income with annuities & pensions.

Contact us on freephone 0800 678 5159 if you wish to discuss whether any of these products can help your retirement financially.

e: mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

w: http://www.equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk


AVIVA Equity Release – Latest Changes To Interest Rates & Lending Limits

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

This article provides information on the latest interest rates & changes that Aviva are making to their product range.


With the current shortage of equity release lenders, additional pressures are mounting on the remaining companies providing equity release schemes.

These lenders are now experiencing larger than normal business volumes as the number of providers has dwindled over the past 12 months. As a consequence some servicing issues are of concern, of which the biggest provider is now addressing.


Of these equity release companies; Aviva  are the first to change their lending criteria & this post provides details of this in advance.


Come the 14th June, Aviva will be increasing their interest rates & lowering their loan-to-values (LTV) & details of these changes are detailed later in this article.

This is a negative step for the market given that Aviva’s Maximum Cash Release plan offers the highest cash release in the lifetime mortgage market at present.

Therefore, clients looking for financial relief by releasing the maximum possible after this date now have a reduced cash sum available. Couple this with Aviva’s recent reduction in loan-to-values on flats & maisonette’s & there is a definite swing away from higher loan values.


Aviva will now only lend on 75% of property values on flats & maisonette’s, which is a dramatic move away from lending on these abodes. Couple this with the reductions in loan-to-values which are being announced on the 14th June, means a significant shift in their lending criteria.

This will affect in particular clients looking at debt consolidation or potential other requirements that demand the maximum possible.


Equity Release Supermarket  as independent financial advisers have witnessed firsthand the demand for larger advances this year alone. Predominantly, this has been for debt consolidation purposes whereby clients in retirement are now experiencing income shortfall issues as their investment returns have fallen significantly.

This has resulted in financial pressures meeting these monthly liabilities including mortgage payments, personal loans or more commonly, credit card debts.


Nevertheless, there are fresh signs within the market indicating that external forces are construing to develop new plans & ideas to drive this stagnant market forward.

We heard last week that More2 Life is introducing an impaired life roll-up equity release scheme. This is welcoming news for the market & hopefully the sign of things to come.

In the meantime the current crop of lenders can dictate in a market having little competition from other providers.


Part of the result of this is Aviva’s impending equity release scheme changes.


Aviva have announced an increase of 0.1% to the interest rates for new business on the Lifestyle Flexible Option, Lifestyle Lump Sum and Lifestyle Lump Sum Max.

Equity Release Supermarket receive an exclusive interest rate lower than that offered directly by Aviva themselves.


The new Aviva interest rates wef 14th June are therefore 6.70%, 6.55% & 7.40% respectively. On paper this doesn’t represent a large percentage increase; however given the roll-up nature of these products, this will result in £1000’s difference in the future balance.


Additionally, Aviva equity release are reducing the loan-to-values on the Lifestyle Lump Sum Max by 2% for customers aged 60 or below, and by 1% for those over 60.

Even with this decrease, they currently still offer the best LTV scale in the market on all properties (apart from flats & maisonettes).


The LTV rates for the Lifestyle Flexible Option and Lifestyle Lump Sum will stay the same.


Example LTV’s on the Lifestyle Lump Sum Max (single borrower) are now: –

Age 55        –           20.5%

Age 60        –           25.5%

Age 6          –           30%

Age 70        –           36%

Age 75        –           41%

Finally, there are transitional arrangements in place which anyone considering the Aviva equity release schemes should be aware of;


Applications on the Lifestyle Flexible Option, Lifestyle Lump Sum and Lifestyle Lump Sum Max dated prior to 14th June and received by the 18th June will receive the old interest rates. Also, any Lifestyle Lump Sum Max applications will be on the old LTV scale.


Applications on the Lifestyle Flexible Option, Lifestyle Lump Sum and Lifestyle Lump Sum Max dated before 14th June and received after 18th June will receive the new interest rate. Lifestyle Lump Sum Max applications will be on the new LTV scale.


Applications dated after 14th June will receive the new interest rates. Lifestyle Lump Sum Max applications will be based on the new LTV scale.


To request an Aviva illustration or further advice on any of the issues discussed above, please contact Mark Gregory on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk


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