Equity release might just help in restoring a little sanity in this mad world

A Lifetime Mortgage enables you to borrow a tax-free cash lump sum from the value of your home.

Equity release - a financial planning tool to help maintain a standard of living - Credit: Shutterstock

Kevin Watling, equity release specialist, mortgage and protection adviser, Molyneux Associates:

Madness... must be a thought that many of us must be thinking at the moment with all that is going on in the world!

I was surprised this week to actually pull into a petrol station without queuing.

The first time of trying since this latest bout of madness started, straight in and straight to the pump - I got so ridiculously emotional I started to fill up!

It just seems that the governance of our country is a matter of reacting to situations that have been the result of strategies that have led to these self same situations!

Apparently, post Brexit we have now lost 5,000 HGV drivers that have led to this supply crisis receiving so much media publicity.

So how does this fit into a piece on equity release?

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Essentially that marketplace is one where the ability to create extra income to accommodate higher utility costs and higher fuel prices.

Whereas equity release once carried the stigma of being somewhat of a last resort financially, to be hidden away from family and friends, it is now becoming more of a financial planning tool to help people maintain their standard of living on a day-to-day basis.

Broadly speaking, to qualify applicants need to own a UK home - excluding Northern Ireland - worth at least £70,000, to be at least 55 years old - both if a couple - and be a UK resident with that home as their main residence, although buy-to-let release is also available.

Just looking at helping with home and living costs, it does seem at time that the list of property bills is never ending, even more so with the cost of food stretching fixed incomes.

Add to this the cost of just basic maintenance, again with spiralling costs in that area - if you can get a post Brexit contractor - this is another drain on that fixed income. 

That's before major expenses such as a new boiler being factored in!

The financial implications of a change in circumstances is another reason for suddenly being in a situation where perhaps the sale of a property is the only way out, without possibly using equity release.

What I am saying is that looking beyond the historical stigma of equity release might just help in restoring a little sanity into this current madness!

It costs nothing to talk about it – just ask.