Equity release freed up property cash
But 70-year-old Colin McKenna has no plans to start slowing down any time soon.
The pensioner, who lives in Brechin near Aberdeen, is just as busy now as when he worked as a contract specialist in the oil and gas industry, thanks to his property investments and home renovations.
Colin has bought and sold property for a number of years – including two units in Dubai and three in Aberdeen – but recently released some of the cash tied up in his current home to enjoy his retirement years.
Opting for an equity release plan with the UK’s No.1 equity release specialists, Key Retirement, Colin was able to pay off the mortgage on his luxury Florida condo, which he bought in 2006.
He said: “I’ve got a condo that is part of a hotel out in Florida. It’s been rented out since I bought it, and the rent had been used to repay the loan.
“But now that the loan has been repaid, I can actually enjoy that money.
“I chose equity release because I wanted to raise capital to do what I wanted to do without having to pay anything back.”
Equity release is available to home owners aged over 55, allowing them to release a tax-free cash lump sum from the value tied up in their home. With typically no monthly repayments to make, the money can be spent on anything from home improvements to holidays.
And like lots of other retirees, Colin has also used his cash windfall to upgrade his current home, spending £6000 on landscaping his garden, and extending and upgrading the semidetached property.
Although equity release isn’t right for everyone’s financial situation, Colin found it was a good way for him to make use of the money he had previously invested.
He explained: “The house I had in Aberdeen [before my current home] was a big house with quite a big mortgage. Folk kept saying ‘oh we don’t do lifetime mortgages’ and I didn’t really know what they were talking about. So I sold the house to pay off the mortgage.
“I invested in this house in Brechin and it was all mine, and so when I found out I could get the money out of the house, I thought, ‘Oh well that’s good, I can still stay in a house but get the money too.’”
Now Colin is considering releasing more cash now that the value of his home has risen.
He said: “I might release more money in the future if my house is worth a good bit more than it was. It was valued at around £175,000 back then and now I might be able to get £190,000 to £195,000.