Equity Release Services

The amount of equity you have in your home is decided by taking the value of your property and deducting any mortgages or secured loans you have against it.

Equity release enables homeowners to access some of this money from your home, without the need to move house or make any monthly repayments.

For example, if your property is valued at:

  • £150,000 with no mortgage or debt– Your equity = £150,000
  • £225,000 with £40,000 left to pay on your mortgage– Your equity = £185,000

The money you release can be paid to you in a one off tax-free lump sum, by ‘drawing down’ amounts as and when you want them, or you can have regular monthly payments made to you.

The total amount you can unlock with an equity release plan depends on a number of deciding factors including your:

  • Age
  • Property value
  • Health – over 100 qualifying health conditions enable you to access a higher percentage of your property value

Who is eligible?

To release equity from your home you must:

  • Be aged 55 or over (youngest applicant if a couple)
  • Own your own home worth over £60,000
  • Live in the UK and the property must be your main residence
  • Be able to pay off any remaining mortgage or secured loan with the amount of equity you release

What can I spend the money on?

The money you unlock from your home with equity release is yours to spend however you choose. Popular reasons for equity release include:

  • Enjoying dream holidays
  • Making home and garden improvements
  • Clearing credit cards or any outstanding mortgage
  • Topping up your income to help with day-to-day living costs
  • Helping out loved ones with financial support
  • Buying a new car

Top 5 equity release myths busted

Some customers ask our advisers about things they have heard about equity release in the past. Today, equity release is one of the most regulated financial products on the market, with a number of guarantees in place to protect your estate. To help put your mind at ease, here are the top 5 common myths about equity release answered:

  1. You will not lose your home: With all equity release plans you have the right to remain in your home for life provided it remains your main residence. Bower only recommends Equity Release Council approved plans (or those which offer the same set of guarantees) which act to protect your financial future; these include the ‘No Negative Equity’ guarantee which ensures you will never owe more than the value of your home.
  2. You can protect your children’s inheritance: When you pass away or move into long-term care, your home is sold and the money is used to pay off the loan. You will never owe more than the value of your home, and any money leftover is returned to your estate. There are also Protected Equity Guarantees available which ensure you can leave a fixed percentage of your home’s value to your beneficiaries.
  3. It is fully regulated: Equity release is fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Bower Retirement Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register Number: 451607.
  4. You can still move house: You have the right to move your plan to another suitable property without any financial penalty.
  5. You can repay the loan or pay off the interest: There are plans available that allow you to repay the loan early, as well as the option to have fixed early redemption penalties over a certain time frame. Interest payment plans will enable you to make monthly repayments on the loan, or you can make voluntary partial repayments – usually up to 10% a year.

To find out more about the safety of equity release, read ‘Safety and accountability’.

Equity release with Bower Retirement

Equity release is a big financial decision and is usually a lifelong commitment. We always recommend you seek the advice of an independent equity release specialist who can search the entire market for you and is not restricted to a specific panel of providers.

Bower’s specialists are financial advisers with many years between them working in equity release and the financial industry as a whole. Our focus is delivering the very best impartial advice and guidance to our customers, which is why we offer a free, no-obligation home consultation to every one of our customers, regardless of where you live in the UK.

As part of our specialist impartial service, during your home consultation your adviser will explain all the advantages and disadvantages of a plan so you can make a balanced decision. We will make sure you understand, for example, how equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to some state benefits. No decisions are made in this initial consultation; it is simply your opportunity to discover the retirement lending options available to you.

Throughout your equity release journey, your dedicated Bower adviser will be able to give you the specialist advice you need to make your decision. There are many options available and we will work to understand your whole financial situation before suggesting the best solution for you, which may or may not include an equity release plan.