Why eq­uity re­lease may be the an­swer for women

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket -

The life in­sur­ance provider’s April 2017 Readi­ness Report looked at “How savers are be­hav­ing in the new pen­sions world” and found men had saved on av­er­age three times more for their fu­ture than women.

Men have an av­er­age of £73,568 put away for re­tire­ment, while women’s pen­sions amount to an av­er­age of only £24,869.

And with a quar­ter (24.5 per cent) of the UK pop­u­la­tion now ex­pect­ing to con­tinue work­ing full-time past the age of 65, more re­tirees are look­ing for al­ter­na­tive ways to fi­nance their later years.

Eq­uity re­lease is one such op­tion, and is avail­able to over-55s who own a prop­erty worth at least £70,000.

An eq­uity re­lease plan al­lows home­own­ers to re­lease a tax-free cash lump sum from the value tied up in their prop­erty, and can be used for ev­ery­thing from boost­ing ev­ery­day spend­ing to clear­ing debts.

Fig­ures from over-55s fi­nance spe­cial­ists Key Re­tire­ment show Scot­tish prop­erty own­ers added to their re­tire­ment fi­nances by more than £86mil­lion in 2016 thanks to eq­uity re­lease.

Of the nearly 1600 Scot­tish pen­sion­ers who used eq­uity re­lease last year, nearly half (49 per cent) in­vested some or all of the cash in re­vamp­ing their home, about 34 per cent set­tled debts and 16 per cent funded a dream hol­i­day.

But the report also high­lighted a clear gap be­tween women’s financial pri­or­i­ties and their lev­els of pro­tec­tion.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of women be­lieve it’s solely their re­spon­si­bil­ity to fi­nan­cially sup­port their fam­ily should the un­ex­pected hap­pen and many would be forced to turn to their part­ner’s in­come, sav­ings or government ben­e­fits.

The find­ings may go some way in ex­plain­ing why women are more canny with the cash they get from eq­uity re­lease on their home.

Men on av­er­age spend £48,000 of funds re­leased from their homes to help loved ones, com­pared with £32,000 from women.

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