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What is Equity Release and What are the Benefits?

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Equity release can help you get access to your home’s monetary value, and ultimately make your retirement a lot more comfortable financially.

You can choose to receive monthly pay-outs from your scheme, or one larger lump sum. The money is derived from the value of your property.

With an equity release scheme you can access money from your home’s value, without having to sell it.

If you are aged 55 or over, you can apply for a scheme to hopefully one day get your hands on some of the equity (cash) that is linked to your property. This money can go toward any debt repayments that you would like cleared, or perhaps you’d simply like more money to thoroughly enjoy your retirement.

 

What types of equity release schemes are there?

There are two main types of schemes to consider before committing. Each scheme differs in big ways regarding your home and how much of it you own. So think carefully and look at all your options first.

 

Lifetime mortgage

With this mortgage, you are able to take out a loan from some of your property’s value. Usually you won’t need to pay any of the amount back until you either sell your home or die. You can usually borrow up to 60% of the value of your home. You will pay interest on the amount you receive, so be aware of this when deciding how much you’d like to borrow. Interest is also not usually paid during your lifetime. Instead, the interest is “rolled up” over time and repaid when you die, however the interest can increase quickly throughout your life. You can get a lifetime mortgage when you are aged 55 or older.

 

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Home reversion

With home reversion, you can choose to sell a share of your home to the provider of the scheme. However it will be sold to them for less than the current market value. This doesn’t mean you need to move out of your home or sell it completely; you are within your rights to stay living in your home for as long as you wish. You could even stay living in your property until you die. It is not until you decide you leave your home that you will see the effects of the scheme. When your home is sold, whether that’s because you have passed away or moved into sheltered accommodation, the provider of your scheme will receive a share of your property’s value. However much you originally sold (for example 30% of your property) is how much the provider will receive once it is sold (30% of the profits). You can access a home reversion scheme if you are aged 65 or older.

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How can equity release benefit me?

Equity release could be the key to a wealthy and comfortable retirement.

If you find that your pension isn’t going as far as you’d hoped, you can access these crucial funds that could help towards a better way of life. You could use the extra money for the more fun and pleasant things in life.

 

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It could help your family and loved ones.

The money you receive could do great things for yourself and for your family and loved ones. If you have any dependants, this money could be put toward their education or better living standards. If you intend on leaving your home to your loved ones after you’ve gone, you may want to give them something to enjoy now, rather than waiting until they can see the rest of the value from your home later.

It could help toward paying off any debts.

If you have any looming debts that you want rid of, the money you borrow could help put your worries to rest. Rather than get behind on any debt repayments, or worry about not paying off the debts in your lifetime, you could pay them all off sooner rather than later with the money you receive.

You can remain in your home.

Just because you are selling a share of your home, this doesn’t mean you are any less entitled to live comfortably in your property. You can stay in your home for as long as you wish without any stress.

How much does an equity release scheme cost?

Equity release schemes can be costly, so it’s wise to talk to a financial expert to get the right advice. The rates for lifetime mortgages are high compared to regular mortgages so it’s best to compare your options before making any big decisions.

 

How can I get equity release?

You first need to find out if you are eligible for equity release. Depending on your chosen scheme, you need to be at least 55 or 65 years of age to qualify. You also need to be the homeowner.

Once you know that you qualify, you should discover your home’s worth so you know how much you can release. You can do this thoroughly with a surveyor, or you can get a close estimate through an estate agent or by looking at local, similar houses and their value.

When you have an idea of your home’s value, you can then start the process of looking at the various schemes and mortgages available. By using our website you can find a number of trusted providers who can help you on your way to access some money from your home. Compare all of the deals and pick the best one for your needs.

 

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Is Equity Release the Key to a Wealthy Retirement?

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Equity release can benefit homeowners and give some extra financial stability to retirement. The schemes are there to make sure older homeowners have access to a good amount of money when they are no longer working. Equity release schemes also allow you to make the most of your investment in your property.

 

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So, what exactly is equity release? 

Equity release allows you to access your home’s value, giving you more cash to retire with. This means you can access money liked to your property without having to sell it. But there are many questions that arise when discussing equity release and whether it could work for you. You must know all the facts and use comparison websites to find the best quote for your individual needs. Equity release is mostly available to homeowners over the age of 55 and is best suited to people who may have trouble paying toward a standard mortgage. Equity release allows you to receive money in either one lump sum, or through regular, smaller payments. You can even find schemes that will let you have a combination of the two.

 

Which type of equity release is best for me?

There are two routes you can take with equity release. Before committing to a scheme, it’s best to be clued up on both options so you know you are making the right decision. You can choose between a lifetime mortgage or home reversion.A lifetime mortgage allows you to have a mortgage on your home and pay the interest only when it is sold. This is the most popular option between the two equity release schemes. With a lifetime mortgage you still own your property and you will take out a loan on your home, resulting in a lump sum pay out.

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Home reversion lets you sell part of your home while still living there. So you can choose to sell all,  (or part of) your property in exchange for either regular payments or one lump sum. You also have the right to stay living in your property. When your home is eventually sold, you will receive a percentage of the property’s worth, depending on how much you currently own.

 

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How could it benefit me?

Equity release can be a safety net for people who may need extra funds alongside their pension. Your pension could cover most of your everyday needs but for unexpected payments that come along, your pension pay out may not cover it. Knowing you can access money linked to your home could be a load off your mind and help you in any financial situations that may arise.

So if you think that equity release could make your retirement more stable and enjoyable, you can view and compare all the schemes available to you. Find a quote that offers you everything you need and will ensure that money will not be something to worry about in your retirement.

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10 Important Things You Need To Know Before You Buy Life Insurance

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Life insurance is a necessity for people who have a family to support and wish to keep them safe and secure long after they physically can. Nobody wants to think about leaving our loved ones, but having peace of mind and knowing that your family aren’t going to struggle financially without you is crucial.

Life insurance can sound complex and  bewildering, but it doesn’t have to be. Learning about the best insurance for you, what level term life insurance can offer and how to protect your dependants can be understandable and easy to digest. Here are ten things you need to know before you commit to buying a life insurance policy.

Only get life insurance if you need it

Paying for a life insurance policy shouldn’t feel like a waste of money, but it could be just that if you don’t have any dependants. If you are single and without children, investing in a policy could just be empty payments. Your life insurance comes into fruition when you are no longer around, so you need to consider what you could be leaving behind. If you don’t have anyone to give this money to, then it’s best to save your money or put it towards something else.

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If you do have a family or dependants it is wise to consider how big a part your finances play in their daily lives. Would your family struggle financially without you? If so, life insurance is key to ensuring your loved ones are safe, comfortable and without extra worry when you’re not there.

However, even if you have a family you should work out if they would be financially dependant on you when you’re gone. You may not require life insurance if your loved ones are not dependant on you for money and you wouldn’t leave them with a financial struggle.

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Pick the right type of life insurance for you

There are several types of life insurance that all come with their own terms and benefits. These include mortgage decreasing term insurance (a policy that covers your mortgage) and whole of life insurance (a payment that can cover the inheritance tax bill).

The simplest type of policy is level term life insurance. With this type of policy, the payout your loved ones would get is fixed, regardless of when you pass away. You would also only be entitled to a payout if you died within a set period. So a level term life insurance policy would pay a lump sum payment to your dependants within a fixed term. For example, your policy could guarantee £150,000 to your family if you died within the next 14 years.

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Your money is safe and secure, even if your insurer isn’t

We want to trust that our insurance companies will still be alive and kicking for as long as we are, but in such uncertain financial times anything can happen. Especially as a life insurance policy is an extremely long-term commitment. If your insurer goes bust it doesn’t mean your policy has to, too. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme will do its best to find you another insurer to take over your existing policy.

Your health and lifestyle will be reflected in your payments

Life insurance policies are more expensive depending on your health and age. The older you are, the more you’re likely to pay. If you’re a smoker or significantly overweight, you could end up paying a lot more each month for your policy. However, it is important to be completely honest with your insurer about any previous conditions or current ailments to ensure you are safely covered and there is no risk of your insurer not paying out due to ‘non-disclosure’.

You can avoid paying Inheritance Tax

It is a good idea to write your policy in trust so that your life insurance does not form part of your estate. This can help you strategically avoid paying hefty Inheritance Taxes. By writing in trust, your insurer will pay out to your dependants, swiftly sidestepping any unnecessary taxes. Most insurance policies can allow you to write your policy in trust with no extra payments.

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Joint cover isn’t always the best option

Like a joint bank account, joint insurance policies can seem like a smart move. It is cheaper and seems to benefit you by being easier to set up than two separate accounts. However it’s not all plain sailing. A joint policy can mean that there will only be one pay out, after the first death. This could leave any dependants after the second death left with little to help cover funeral costs, house payments or to ensure general financial stability. Getting two single policies means that there will be two separate pay outs and it makes life easier if you are to split from your partner and you are not required to get a new policy. But if you don’t have any dependants, a joint policy could be a cheaper, more logical option for you.

Keep an eye on new quotes to save money

There are so many options to choose from with comparison websites showing you everything on offer in one place. When comparing policies, check all the small print to get the full picture and make sure that any potential new options offer the same benefits as your previous policy. So if you see a deal worth switching to, you could end up saving some money. You just need to ensure that the cover is at the same level and set it up, then cancel your existing cover.

Carefully figure out how much cover you need

Calculating your life insurance costs can seem daunting, but generally you should cover 10 times the breadwinner’s income. However, don’t forget to take into account any debts you may be paying off and funeral costs.

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Choose a guaranteed premium for fixed costs

With level term life insurance you have two options of premiums: guaranteed or reviewable. Reviewable premiums sound the most appealing as they tend to be more affordable in the beginning, but your insurer can increase the price over time so it ends up as the riskier, more expensive option. By choosing a guaranteed premium, you are safe in the knowledge that your insurer cannot increase the costs or add any hidden charges. You know exactly what you’re paying for the rest of your policy.

Quit smoking for cheaper insurance

It is written in black and white in many policies that smokers will pay more for life insurance than non-smokers. This is down to the increased risk of diseases associated with smoking and the more likely it is that you will die within your term. Some policies will indicate that you should be smoke-free for a certain amount of time to officially qualify as a non-smoker, so it’s advisable to check.

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