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Posts Tagged ‘Roll-Up Equity Release’

Equity Release, Divorce and a Solution for ‘Silver Splitters’

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Equity Release on divorceA new and rather unusual expression has recently emerged which is the term – ‘silver splitters’.  It hasn’t made the Oxford Concise Dictionary yet, but I suspect it’s just a matter of time!

 

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the year 2011 reveal that 8% of all men divorcing in the UK were aged 60 and over. The equivalent figure for women aged 60 and over was 5%.  Compare this to 2001 when these figures were 4.6% and 2.6% respectively.

 

While overall figures for divorce have been falling, divorce amongst the retired and elderly have been increasing significantly, resulting in financially strained circumstances for many at a time when they should be enjoying life.

 

This increase in the number of silver splitters appears to be the result of the ‘baby boomer’ generation reaching retirement, experiencing the empty nest syndrome with children departed, looking at each other and deciding that they have little in common. Matters take their course and separation is followed by divorce.

 

Next follows the murky area known to the legal profession as ‘ancillary relief’ which is quite separate from the divorce itself (or ) and is concerned with the financial settlement between the parties. In the absence of an amicable agreement the family court can dictate how the assets in the marriage are shared out, and that includes the matrimonial home irrespective of whose name is on the deeds.

 

This is where help from equity release can come into play to facilitate the financing of any payment between the divorced parties and to alleviate the prospect of poverty and homelessness for either ex-spouse.

 

Silver Splitters Case Study

Let us take an example.  A couple, both aged 65, jointly own a property valued at £300,000 and they have paid off their mortgage. They decide to divorce but the wife wishes to remain in the family home and as the split is amicable the husband is willing to accommodate her wishes, but in exchange for a cash payment. By applying for a lifetime mortgage at the age of 65 the wife can raise up to 30% of the value of the home, i.e. £90,000. The property is transferred into her sole name and simultaneously the lifetime mortgage proceeds of £90,000 are paid over to the husband.

 

This leaves the husband with £90,000 cash which he can use as a deposit on a property for himself. Being 65 he can also raise a 30% lifetime mortgage on his new home and this enables him to buy a property  for say £128,500 (i.e. cash £90,000=70% and lifetime mortgage 30%=£38,500).

 

Alternatively, if both parties in my example agreed to sell the matrimonial home and split the proceeds equally then prospects look brighter. With say £150,000 each as a deposit and with a 30% contribution from a lifetime mortgage, my divorced couple would each be looking to buy new homes in the region of £214,000. (These examples do not take fees into account but these would be roughly £1,800 for both parties, plus moving costs).

 

The husband and wife could have two options on the types of equity release schemes available. They could elect to make no further payments to make for life and opt for the roll-up lifetime mortgage which would see the balance increasing yearly.

 

Alternatively, they can apply to take out an interest only lifetime mortgage and repay the monthly interest which would render the lifetime mortgage balance the same throughout. This is ideal should they be considering leaving a fixed inheritance for their beneficiaries.

 

How is the equity release mortgage repaid?

Dependent on which type of lifetime mortgage is selected, the final balance is usually upon repayment of the loan and any accrued interest takes place on death, entry into residential care or earlier sale of the property.

 

And the option to avoid monthly interest payments could be very attractive to divorced ex-spouses on reduced pension incomes. This is maybe the reason why the roll-up equity release types are the most popular?

 

Equity release is increasingly being used to fund divorce settlements, either by the parties themselves or by concerned parents. If you find yourself in a similar situation in experiencing divorce in retirement and need financial advice on how to separate the matrimonial home then please contact Mike Vicary of Equity Release Supermarket on 07795 195302.

 

All discussions will be kept in strictest confidence and any initial consultation will be FREE of charge. I look forward to speaking with you.

 

e: mike@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

m: 07795 195302

Who Is Eligible For Equity Release?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Before committing to hours of research & requesting numerous quotes on equity release schemes, first you should establish whether you can even qualify for a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan.

 

In this article we discuss what lenders are looking for when accepting the over 55’s onto their equity release mortgages.

 

As much as recent press articles have shown, there is a rapidly growing interest in Equity Release.

There are now further signs that this is being taken ever more seriously by policymakers faced with the consequences of an ageing population and increased financial difficulties being encountered by pensioners.

 

Recently a House of Lords committee highlighted the need for property-owning pensioners to unlock wealth in their home rather than try to push costs onto future generations, often including their own children.

The report concluded that ‘It is reasonable to expect those who have benefited from the property boom to support their own longer lives. We suggest that one way to address the current imbalance would be for older people to consider unlocking their house wealth.’

 

So who is eligible for a Roll-Up Equity Release Plan?

Unlike most lending products such as mortgages or personal loans, borrowing on equity release is not determined by your income, but by two main criteria. These are your age and your property.

 

Your age and circumstances

  • You must be aged over 55
  • You must be a homeowner and the property is your main residence
  • You must live in the UK.

 

Your age determines the percentage of the property value a lender will provide for you. For example, at the age of 65 with a property value of £175,000, you could expect a release around 30% of the property value – £52,500.

 

However, In some cases where a client has had a history of poor health, enhanced lifetime mortgage lenders such as Aviva, Partnership, more2life & recently Just Retirement will consider providing a higher amount, subject to further medical information.

 

By asking a series of health questions relating to your medical history, these enhanced equity release providers can judge how much more you could be entitled to depending on the severity of your health.

Therefore in the scenario above, a male aged 65 with a property value of £175,000 could now potentially raise upto 46% of the property value equating to £80,500. A substantially greater amount of £18,000 has been released by just taking advantage of one’s poor health!

 

The property itself

All lenders will insist on a valuation being carried out on the property. This valuation determines whether the lender will provide the funding required. The valuation is based on similar property sales in the area and one that could expect a reasonably quick sale. This is always the ‘unknown’ as property value is subjective, however using sites such as Zoopla may help as a guide, but not the bible!

 

So why is a valuation necessary?

  • The equity release lender needs to know that the property is worth at least £70,000
  • They needs to consider other factors which may include;
    • Construction type. Is the property built of brick with a tiled roof?
    • Is it a house or is it a flat?
    • Is it freehold or leasehold, and if leasehold, how many years are left on the lease?
    • Is it a listed building?
    • Does it have any agricultural ties?
    • Is it next to or above retail premises?
    • More importantly now – Is it in a high flood risk area?
    • Has the property suffered subsidence or been underpinned?

 

*There are cases where one client is under the age of 55 but their partner is over this age, and there are lenders who will consider holiday homes for the source of lending but these require further advice and information

 

Having been advising on equity release schemes since 2008, Equity Release Supermarket are aware of what an important decision taking releasing equity can be. With an old fashioned face-to-face approach our experienced advisers prefer to undertake home visits, where there is the opportunity to openly discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of the variety of products available with prospective clients and their family members .

 

If you want to benefit from the experience Equity Release Supermarket advisers have to offer and understand how equity release works further, then please contact the team, on 0800 678 5159 for a free initial consultation.

Alternatively please email admin@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk.

 

To see what Equity Release Supermarket’s clients have to say about us check our 100% Feefo testimonials on the Feefo link on the homepage (bottom right corner).

How Does Equity Release Work?

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Equity release schemes have risen in the popularity stakes over the past 12 months. With regular articles in the tabloids, and increasing government awareness, lifetime mortgages have certainly raised the bar. But how does equity release actually work in the whole scheme of things, and why has it become such topical subject matter for those looking for a comfortable lifestyle in retirement?

 

Equity release workings

Primarily equity release is available to home owners where the youngest person on the deeds is at least aged 55. Equity release works by allowing eligible people to raise tax free cash from the equity tied up in their home. The amount that can be released is based on an age-related ascending percentage of the value of the home. In other words, the older you are, the more you can raise!

 

For example a single person in good health, aged 65, with a property value of £250,000 could raise a maximum of 30% of the property value. This would mean a maximum equity release of upto £75,000 with Aviva.

Even better, is the fact there are now impaired life schemes that offer ‘enhanced’ rates to people who are not as fit and healthy as they used to be and these schemes increase the percentage that can be drawn.

Therefore, if the same person was a smoker with high blood pressure, having diabetes & a history of heart attacks could now release upto £115,500 on the Partnership enhanced lifetime mortgage scheme.

 

Popular uses for equity release

The money raised from any equity release scheme can be used for any legal purpose from clearing credit card balances and existing mortgages, to helping children or grandchildren with deposits to climb onto the property ladder. However, many would be treating themselves to some lifestyle indulgences such as a new car, world cruise or home improvements.

 

Today’s equity release schemes

The modern format of Equity Release started in the mid 1990s with Hodge Lifetime (part of Julian Hodge Bank), Norwich Union (now Aviva) & Northern Rock (now Papilio UK) with a simple roll up lifetime mortgage.

 

Today there are three basic equity release schemes:-

 

1)      Roll up Lifetime Mortgage

This type of scheme has a few variations but basically the borrower takes an initial tax free lump sum, makes no monthly payments and the accrued interest is added to the loan and compounds annually.

 

The main variation to this is the “drawdown lifetime mortgage“ scheme. This is where only the immediately required amount is drawn down and a reserve cash facility is then offered with the remainder. No interest is accrued on this drawdown facility until it is taken in the future. The advantage here by taking it in smaller amounts is that interest is compounded at a much slower rate, than if it had be taken all at once.

 

Another variation of a roll up plan is offered through Hodge Lifetime on a roll-up basis. Hodge’s flexible repayment plan has an option to repay up to 10% of the original amount borrowed annually without any early repayment charges. Hodge also offer a unique ‘downsizing protection’ option whereby after five years, if the property is then sold and the owner moves & downsizes house, then no early repayment charges apply.  A great solution for many who cannot sell now, but may do so in the future.

 

 

2)      Interest Only Lifetime Mortgage Plans

There are two lenders currently offering this type of interest only scheme – Stonehaven and more2Life. Both schemes are fairly simple whereby a lump sum is withdrawn and the monthly interest is paid in order to maintain the balance outstanding level throughout the term.

 

This method has proved appealing to parents who are keen to minimise any inheritance reduction for their children. In recent times, since the withdrawal of the Halifax Retirement Home Plan lifetime interest only mortgages have become increasingly popular. Both these Equity Release Interest Only schemes have the added safety feature that should the monthly payments become too much (one applicant dying and their pension income reducing) then it can revert to a roll up equity release plan, where no payments are required thereafter.

 

3)      The Home Reversion Plan

This is now the least popular type of equity release mortgage. Nevertheless, it can prove to be the best advice in certain scenarios. The workings are that the homeowner(s) must have a minimum age of 65. They have the option of selling part, or all of their property to the reversion provider and then lives in that property, usually rent free, for the rest of their life. In truth, this is usually only appropriate when there are no beneficiaries to the estate, or they wish to leave a guaranteed percentage of the final value of the house to their children.

 

Home reversion schemes only account for less than 5% of the market these days. The market has seen a few withdrawals from the market by lenders such as Aviva and Retirement Plus. The three remaining home reversion providers are Hodge Lifetime, New Life & Bridgewater.

 

About the author

The author of this article is Barry Adnams, who is a senior equity release adviser at Equity Release Supermarket.

Barry is aware of what a monumental decision taking equity release can be. He is a traditional adviser that would always advocate a home meeting with family involvement. Barry offers an initial cost free ‘face to face’ appointment and likes to include as many family members as possible to be present to discuss whether taking equity release is the right option, or not.

 

If you want to benefit from the experience Barry has to offer and understand how equity release works further, then please contact Barry Adnams at Equity Release Supermarket, on 07989 281108 for a free initial consultation. Alternatively please email barry@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk.

Reasons to Consider an Interest Only Lifetime Mortgage

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

What is an interest only lifetime mortgage? Well there are many reasons to look into interest only lifetime mortgages in order to meet the financial challenges in our current economic climate.

An interest only mortgage should always be considered before a roll-up equity release or home reversion plan. If you are looking towards protecting your inheritance & wish to pass the full estate to your beneficiaries then an only interest mortgage will do as it says on the tin. By borrowing a fixed amount & repayment of just the interest element will mean that the balance will remain exactly the same.

 

Example of an Interest Only Lifetime Mortgage

The interest only lifetime mortgage is an especially useful product for those over 55, as there are specialist equity release style interest only lifetime mortgages available. Often these plans provide historically attractive interest rates and features that assist those in retirement to plan their financial futures. Consider Stonehaven equity release, who offer several forms of their Interest Select Plan which is effectively a non-verification lifetime mortgage. With this plan you can effectively borrow a percentage of the value of the property & you can chose how much of the interest to pay – starting from £25pm upto the full interest payment.

 

What Purposes can it be used for?

Many people who are looking to consolidate debts will find the Stonehaven Interest Select style of interest only lifetime mortgage to be an attractive option for getting all debts under one single interest only payment. This kind of debt consolidation means that the actual total amount borrowed and paid monthly is thereby reduced & hopefully under control. Additionally, the lower interest payments are likely to be less than payments made over many other debts due to the considerably lower interest rates charged by credit card companies & alike.

 

Overall, this makes the payment of debts easier, as Stonehaven will automatically take payment by direct debit, and easy to plan as the total amount is taken monthly. The fixed interest rate option on an interest only mortgage is a very attractive offer. This means that regardless of the Bank of England manipulating conventional interest rates, the Stonehaven interest select plan will always remain exactly the same. For this reason and these features, is why the Stonehaven Interest Select and Stonehaven Interest Select lite (has lowest fixed interest rate at 6.13%) are so popular. More details about these plans can be found on the Equity Release Supermarket website.

 

Are Alternative Equity release Schemes Available?

There are alternative options available for those looking for equity release schemes, including other options for interest only lifetime mortgages. These could depend upon location such as Scotland & certain counties within England where we have access to specialist lenders.  It is therefore important to discuss what is right for you with an accredited independent equity release advisor who has access to the whole of the equity release & interest only mortgage market.

 

Another place to research equity release schemes and interest only lifetime mortgages is the Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) website, which acts as a consumer safety watchdog for elderly financial products. The Stonehaven equity release products are all registered with SHIP, so these products also come with this important peace of mind. They also have the protection of being regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) thereby coming under the auspices of their compensation scheme.

 

There are many reasons for those over 55 years of age to consider equity release. Many often wonder what is an interest only mortgage? They also wonder what the best options are for their specific needs and situation. While a financial advisor is best placed to help, researching SHIP qualified products like the Stonehaven Interest Select interest only lifetime mortgages often help get started.

The Equity Release Supermarket website is also a useful place to start learning about the ‘ins and outs’ of equity release. There is a lot to learn, so be sure to speak to one of our specialist financial advisers as early as possible and often to be clear about the direction your enquiry is heading.

 

Call our Freephone number 0800 678 5159 for further details on Interest Only Lifetime Mortgage Plans.

Alternatively, follow this link to request a Stonehaven equity release quote.

 

Stonehaven’s New Equity Release – Interest Select to Inheritance Protect

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

On Thursday 3rd March 2011, the equity release market saw another welcome lender return with Stonehaven relaunching their Lump Sum & Interest Select plans.

 

Having been absent for over a year whilst new funders were sourced, Stonehaven have now streamlined & simplified their product range.

One product in particular will answer a common question –

“Can I have an interest only equity release plan where I can repay the interest?”

Well the answer is now categorically – ‘YES

 

Before discussing the Stonehaven Interest Select option in greater detail, let’s have a look at the two products launched.

 

Stonehaven now have two propositions available to customers: –

1. Lump Sum Only Option

2. Interest Only Equity Release

The lump sum option does as it says on the tin; namely two lump sum options which offer different loan to values. Stonehaven are not launching at the maximum release end of the market, but aiming competitively with lower interest rates.

 

Lump Sum Lite has the lowest interest rate at market leading 6.13%.

Plans start at 55 & this product will release 11% of the property value at this age.

The Lump Sum plan has a higher interest rate of 6.24%, with a higher release of 14% at age 55.

Both plans have no drawdown facility, but a simplified single lump sum option from the outset.

 

Next we come to the Interest Select products.

These innovative plans allow you to choose how much of the interest charged you would like to repay each month, and also how long you wish to pay this for. You could pay off the whole interest, or if you have a specific budget just pay off part of the interest with the remainder rolling up onto the original capital borrowed.

In effect it can be classed as an interest only lifetime mortgage for pensioners.

 

Traditional equity release may not be suitable for everyone, especially due to roll-up of interest & the reduction this will make to potential beneficiaries.
Therefore, particularly suitable for people with good disposable incomes & used to servicing & managing debt throughout their working lives, these people can now control how much inheritance they leave behind by these new equity release schemes.

Primarily, it can be regarded as a half way house between a conventional mortgages and roll-up equity release. The scheme is an interest only equity release & has all SHIP safeguards and protection offered by the FSA.

However, a major feature of the Interest Select plan is the ability to be converted over to a full roll up scheme at a later date. This could be when one party to the mortgage dies or financial circumstances dictate that no more monthly payments wish to be made.

Simplification on the new Interest Select means that when conversion arises, the new rate on the equity release plan will only be 0.2% higher than on the previous Interest Select. However, better still, should the roll-over date be previously set, then roll-over will be at the SAME interest rate as the original interest only element.

With interest rates starting at 6.13% which are currently the lowest in the market, a particularly attractive proposition can be found here for those interest rate tarts!

TIP – Should one be able to afford the minimum monthly contribution of £25pm for the minimum roll-over period of 12 months, then one can easily achieve a roll-up equity release plan with a 6.13% monthly interest rate thereafter!

 

Surely, a tip not to be passed by?

There have been four Interest Select plans launched which surely indicates which way Stonehaven feels the market potential lies.

These range from the Interest Select Lite at just 6.13% & releasing 11% at age 55, upto Interest Select Max with an interest rate of 7.57%, but releasing a higher 19% at age 55.

An example of borrowing £40,000 on the Stonehaven Interest Select Lite at 6.13% would result in monthly payments of £205pm.

 

Qualification Criteria for Both Schemes

All Stonehaven equity release products are available to people aged 55 and over, living in a main residence in England and Wales & must have a minimum property valuation of £70,000. The minimum release has been reduced to £10,000.

 

Additional Features

No Negative Equity guarantee
There is the guarantee that when the property is sold on death or long term care, the proceeds payable to Stonehaven can never be greater than the property value itself. This guarantees there can be no excess debt passed to the beneficiaries.

 

Protected Equity
A valuable inheritance protection feature applicable to the lump sum plans. There is the facility to choose to protect a percentage of the final sale value of the property. Point to note is that the no negative equity guarantee and the amount that Stonehaven will lend are based on the value of the unprotected portion of the property.

Thus, another chapter unfolds in the equity release storyline; providing greater diversity in the whole of market lifetime mortgage product range. A welcome read & a promising sign of further things to come for the industry.

 

If you have any questions, or wish to obtain advice on the Stonehaven range of products please contact the Equity Release Supermarket team on 0800 678 5159 or email mark@equityreleasesupermarket.co.uk

 

 
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