Do I need a financial advisor for equity release?
 

Do I Need A Financial Advisor For Equity Release | March 2024

A financial advisor will be able to assist you in determining whether equity release is the right decision for you, as well as assisting you in comparing various options to ensure you receive the greatest possible terms. 

They will also be there to provide support and direction throughout the process, which could be helpful if you’re unsure about anything.

You don’t officially need a financial advisor for equity release. You can get free impartial advice from the government service Money Advice Service, which is now called MoneyHelper, now c or from your local authority’s trading standards department.

However, obtaining equity release may be a complicated procedure, and numerous factors must be considered before taking the plunge. This is why most individuals seek professional assistance from an equity release expert.

So while you don’t need a financial advisor for equity release, seeking impartial equity release advice is definitely worth considering if you want peace of mind and expert assistance throughout the process.

Topics that you will find covered on this page

The Role of a Financial Advisor

A financial advisor plays an important role in guiding clients through the equity release process. They offer independent legal advice which is tailored to your financial situation.

Their expertise and up-to-date information about the market can also help you to navigate equity release and its products. 

A qualified equity release advisor assesses your financial conduct, offering advice on whether equity release is a good fit for your situation. They consider your age, property value, lifestyle and means tested benefits. They can also guide you on how to handle unexpected costs which may arise during the process.

Financial advisors also help you to understand how to manage the money released from your property. They can guide you on how to use the additional funds effectively, whether for home improvements, long-term care, or other needs.

Therefore, their advice can help you to avoid debt, whilst also ensuring that you have enough for the future.

A financial advisor can offer further guidance on the application process. Furthermore, they can liaise with equity release providers, solicitors, and other parties involved. In doing so, they can ensure that paperwork is completed accurately and minimise your stress and loss of time.

Understanding Equity Release

Equity release allows homeowners to access the value tied up in their homes as a lump sum or income, without moving house. There are several schemes to choose from, such as the more popular lifetime mortgages or home reversion.

When evaluating your financial situation and property’s value, an equity release calculator can be useful. It estimates how much equity you can release from your property based on factors such as property value and age.

The equity release sector is populated with a variety of equity release providers, each offering unique equity release plans. From lump sum payments to regular payments, the options are varied. Understanding each product’s implications, such as potential early repayment charges, is important to producing a sound financial decision.

Furthermore, making the decision to release equity requires careful consideration. It involves borrowing money against your property and could affect your current finances and future inheritance.

Consequently, seeking equity release advice from qualified advisors is recommended, simplifying the decision-making process.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the equity release sector. This regulatory body ensures that all equity release providers and advisors operate under strict rules to protect consumers.

Therefore, you should ensure that the equity release advisor or the provider you choose is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Another key consideration is that equity release may affect entitlement to means-tested benefits. This makes it essential to seek advice on the potential impact on benefits before proceeding.

When Do I Need a Financial Advisor?

If you are considering equity release, it’s a good starting point to seek equity release advice from a qualified equity release advisor.

They can provide a comprehensive view of your options, helping you to understand the financial implications.

A financial advisor can also help to advise you on which equity release product to choose. They can explain the difference between various products, such as lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans. Moreover, they can help you to understand the impact of interest rates on your chosen product.

If you are worried about how equity release might affect your means tested benefits, a financial advisor can offer guidance.

A financial advisor will be able to explain how borrowing additional funds via equity release can impact your financial situation, advising you on how best to manage these changes.

In addition, when considering the implications of equity release on inheritance, a financial advisor can help you to understand the impact of equity release on your future inheritance.

They can guide you on how to balance your needs with your desire to leave something for your family members.

Benefits of Professional Financial Advice

Professional financial advice offers numerous benefits. It provides a clearer understanding of the equity release sector, as well as the products available. This advice also acts to provide security in the decisions which you make based on your financial situation and goals.

Additionally, financial advisors can provide you with up-to-date information about the market. They can help you to find a competitive interest rate, understand the loan amount you can access, and guide you through the application process.

In this way, an advisor can save your time, whilst also making your equity release experience less stressful. 

Finally, your advisor can help you to understand the potential risks associated with equity release. They can explain early repayment charges, the impact on your future inheritance, and how your means tested benefits might be affected. This information can help you to make a well-informed decision.

Speak To An Equity Release Advisor Or Use the Equity Release Calculator Below To Estimate How Much You Can Borrow

The UK Care Guide works in partnership with Boon Brokers, one of the UKs leading equity release specialists.

You can contact them on 0333 567 1607 , or use the equity release calculator to estimate how much you can borrow.

Here is what Boon Brokers Offer

Whole of market access
Over a decade of experience
Great customer service

5 star client testimonials, on Trustpilot, about Boon Broker’s support and hands-on service

Call Boon Brokers on 0333 567 1607 to discuss your equity release requirements.

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All equity release and mortgage advice is provided by Boon Brokers Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Financial Services Register number is 973757. 

If you take out a product with Boon Brokers, we will receive a fee for introducing you to them. Boon Brokers provides advice for free and without obligation.  By contacting Boon Brokers through us, the cost of any equity release product would be the same as if you had contacted them directly.  

The fee we receive is used to help keep this site operational and to produce new content.  

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

What should I have prepared for my meeting with an equity release adviser?

Here are some things you should have prepared for your meeting with an equity release adviser:

1 – A list of your assets and debts

All of your assets and liabilities must be disclosed by any equity release advisers in order to provide you with accurate counsel. This covers your outstanding mortgage as well as any other loans or credit cards you have, as well as any savings or investments you have. 

2 – Your income and expenditure

Your adviser will need to know how much money you have coming in each month and how much you spend on average. This will help them to assess whether equity release is the right move for you.

3 – Your health and lifestyle

Your financial adviser will need to know about your health and lifestyle in order to assess the potential impact equity release might have on you. They’ll also need to be aware if there have been any changes in your health or lifestyle that might affect your ability to repay the loan.

4 – Your family situation

Your advisor will need to be aware of your family circumstances in order to assess how equity release may affect them. This includes information about your children, such as their ages and if they live with you.

What will happen at an equity release advice meeting?

At your equity release advice meeting, your adviser will ask you about your financial situation and your goals, such as how much equity you are looking to release through a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan. They will then assess whether equity release is the right move for you. If they think it is, they will recommend an equity release product and help you to compare different deals.

They will also be able to answer any other questions you have and provide support and guidance throughout the process.

What questions should I ask my equity release adviser?

When meeting with an equity release adviser, you should ask about:

1 – Their qualifications and experience

You should inquire about your adviser’s training and experience in order to ensure that they are competent to provide you with recommendations.

2 – The equity release products they recommend

You should also ask about the equity release products your adviser suggests and why he or she thinks they are ideal for you. You should also inquire about any alternative equity release options that may be accessible to you.

Advisers will likely give you a variety of alternative options of equity release provider to choose from. 

When selecting a provider, remember to ask what their fees are, what type of equity release products they can offer and what the options are if you’re likely to need more money in the future.

3 – The fees they charge

You should ask about the fees your adviser charges for their financial advice and services. You should also ask about any other costs that you will need to pay, such as administration fees or product fees.

4 – How long the process will take

You should ask your adviser how long the process of releasing equity will take from start to finish. This includes the time it will take to find an equity release product, arrange the loan and get the money released.

5 – What the risks are

You should inquire about the dangers of taking out an equity release plan, including the risks to your health, your family, and your property. You should also ask about the long-term consequences for your inheritance. Also, enquire about any impact it might have on your eligibility for means-tested benefits.

equity release advisor

Risks Associated with Equity Release

There are risks that come with equity release, such as the impact on your future inheritance. As previously mentioned, equity release reduces the value of the estate and may lower potential inheritance.

Another risk or effect of equity release are the interest rates involved. Whilst some equity release products offer a competitive interest rate, others might have higher rates.

Over time, this interest adds up and can significantly impact the total amount you owe over. This is particularly true of lifetime mortgages, where the interest compounds.

Equity release can also affect your eligibility for means tested benefits. Borrowing more money can increase your income or assets, potentially affecting your entitlement to benefits.

Consequently, before making a decision, it’s essential to seek independent legal advice.

If you do consider repaying your equity release loan early, there can be early repayment charges. Charges can be substantial, meaning that it is necessary to understand them before taking out a plan.

Furthermore, equity release may impact the ability to fund future care needs. If too much equity is accessed initially, there may be insufficient value remaining later on. To help mitigate this risk, obtaining professional advice is crucial.

How to Choose the Right Financial Advisor

Choosing the right financial advisor will have a significant impact on the equity release process. This means that you should look for an advisor who is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In doing so, you ensure that they will adhere to the strict rules set to protect consumers.

It’s also helpful to have an experienced advisor, offering in-depth knowledge about the market, products, and providers.

They will also be able to provide you with accurate, up-to-date information and guide you effectively through the process.

Friends and family members who have previously released equity equity may offer valuable recommendations. This can give you insights into the advisor’s reliability, professionalism, and expertise.

Another thing to consider is the costs involved in hiring an advisor. Therefore, you should make sure that their fees are transparent and reasonable. Although this cost is necessary and inevitable, the quality of advice should be your primary consideration.

Furthermore, source an independent financial advisor who is not tied to specific equity release providers. This is because independent advisors consider products across the market, whereas tied advisors mainly promote their partner providers.

Costs Involved in Hiring a Financial Advisor

The costs involved from hiring a financial advisor cover a range of services. Generally they include an initial consultation fee, ongoing management fees, and possibly charges for arranging equity release.

This makes it important to discuss these costs upfront, ensuring that there are no hidden charges.

The initial consultation fee is typically charged for the first meeting, where the advisor assesses your situation. This fee can vary based on the advisor’s experience and expertise.

You will also be charged for the advisor’s continuous service throughout the equity release process, which are the ongoing management fees. They cover services such as regular reviews of your financial situation, as well as updates on market changes.

Arrangement charges are fees for the actual process of arranging equity release.

These cover the advisor’s time and effort in liaising with providers, handling paperwork, and managing the application process.

equity release advisors

Regulatory Protections for Equity Release Consumers

To safeguard equity release consumers, regulatory protections are in place. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates equity release advisors and providers, ensuring that professionals follow strict rules to protect consumers’ interests.

Another body which provides protections to customers is the Equity Release Council, a trade body for the equity release sector.

Members of the Equity Release Council need to adhere to a strict code of conduct, including the no negative equity guarantee. This ensures that you will never owe more than the value of your property.

Consumers also have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service. If you have a complaint about your advisor or provider that cannot be resolved, you can take it to the Ombudsman. They provide an independent review and  if they find in your favour, they can order compensation.

Alternatives to Using a Financial Advisor

Although there are many benefits to a financial advisor, there are also alternative options. For instance, you can choose to research and manage the process yourself.

This would involve a full understanding of the equity release sector, from varying equity release products to the risks that accompany taking it.

You can also seek advice from experienced family members or friends who have gone through the process. However, remember that their financial situation and needs may be different from yours, meaning that you may need to adapt their process to suit you.

There are also online resources like equity release calculators and comparison sites. These can provide general information and comparisons of different products. However, they don’t offer personalised advice based on your specific situation.

Outside of equity release, government grants and low-income schemes are another option to consider.

They can provide financial support for home improvements or other needs, without needing to tap into your property wealth.

Furthermore, free guidance on equity release is offered by organisations such as MoneyHelper and Age UK. However,  it is necessary to note that this is not a substitute for tailored professional advice.

Preparing for an Equity Release Consultation

Before you have an equity release consultation with your financial advisor, it is helpful to prepare. Having a clear idea of your financial situation and goals is useful for both you and the advisor. Therefore, consider how much money you need, why you need it, and how it will impact your future finances.

You will also need documents such as property details and statements which show your current finances.

This will help the advisor to further understand your situation. Consequently, be ready to discuss your plans for the money released, be it home improvements, long-term care, or other needs.

It’s also a good idea to ask questions during this consultation. Ask about the advisor’s experience, their fees, the products they recommend, and why. This helps ensure that you get the most out of your consultation and make an informed decision.

equity release adviser

Deciphering Different Types of Equity Release

Within the equity release sector, there are various equity release plans to choose from. Your individual circumstances and future plans will affect which one suits you best.

A qualified adviser can provide you with up to date information to help in your decision-making process.

Equity release plans generally fall under two categories, which are lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans. 

Lifetime mortgages are loans secured against your property where you retain full ownership. The loan, plus accrued interest, is then repaid when the property is sold. This is usually when you pass away or move into long-term care.

Home reversion is slightly different, and involves selling a portion of your property to a home reversion provider. In turn, they supply you with either a lump sum payment or regular payments. You can then live in the property rent-free until you pass away or move into long-term care.

At that point, the sold portion of the property goes to the provider.

It’s important to fully understand equity plans and their effect on your financial options, such as your ability to borrow additional funds in the future. A qualified advisor can help you to understand the implications of each plan.

The Role of an Equity Release Adviser

By providing you with guidance throughout the equity release journey, an equity release adviser can play a critical role in your experience. By providing you with expert advice tailored to your situation, they can help you understand the benefits and potential risks involved.

Remember that it’s always recommended to seek the advice of a qualified equity release advisor before making a decision.

Additionally, your adviser can guide you on how to manage your funds effectively and avoid unnecessary debt.

From their informed perspective, they can help you to understand how to handle the interest payments on a lifetime mortgage, or the implications of selling a portion of your property under a home reversion plan.

It is necessary that equity release advisers which are regulated by the FCA adhere to strict guidelines and standards. As a result, their advice is impartial and focuses on your needs and circumstances. Whether it’s a question about monthly repayments or the impact on your future inheritance, a good adviser can provide the answers.

Understanding the Role of an Equity Release Provider

Providers offer different equity release plans, interest rates, and terms. They calculate how much money you can release from your property, as well as setting the conditions for repayment. A reputable provider will give you a clear and transparent breakdown of these details.

Using an equity release adviser can be helpful in choosing the right provider for you. They can compare different providers, negotiate on your behalf, and help you to understand the terms and conditions of each plan. This ensures that you choose a provider and a plan that best meets your needs.

Exploring Alternative Options to Equity Release

Although equity release can provide a significant financial boost, it’s not the only option for accessing additional funds.

There are other alternatives to equity release which may be more suited to your financial needs. A qualified adviser can guide you through these alternatives and help you to make an informed decision.

One option to consider is downsizing. Selling your property and moving to a smaller, less expensive one can free up money. However, there are other impacts to moving such as the emotional impact of leaving your home, and these should be considered before making this choice.

Another alternative is taking out a traditional loan or mortgage. These often have lower interest rates than equity release plans, and monthly repayments which can provide a discipline that some people prefer.

However, you need to be sure you can afford the repayments.

Government grants and benefits are also an option. There are various grants and benefits, with some designed specifically for older homeowners who need financial help for things like home improvements. With a qualified adviser, you can explore these options and ensure your needs are met.

Preparing for Long-Term Care and Other Future Needs

Planning for future needs, such as long-term care, is an important aspect of releasing equity. Although equity release funds can be used for long-term care, it’s necessary to plan your future carefully. In this process, the guidance of a financial adviser can be invaluable.

The cost of long-term care can be high, and it’s important to have a strategy in place. Depending on your equity release plan, you might choose to receive regular payments to contribute towards these costs. Alternatively, a lump sum could be invested to generate an income.

If you do choose to release equity to fund long-term care, it may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits. A qualified equity release adviser will help you to understand these implications, as well as guiding you on the best way to navigate them. They will also be able to help you to manage a flexible plan to cater for changes in your care needs.

FAQ

1. What does it mean to pay interest on an equity release plan?

The provider who releases equity on your home will loan the money with interest. When you take out an equity release plan, particularly a lifetime mortgage, you’re essentially borrowing money against the value of your home. You can choose to pay the interest monthly, or it can be rolled up over the term of the loan. This will be repaid when the property is sold.

Interest rates vary between different providers and plans, so it is important to fully understand how this might have an effect over time. A qualified advisor or an experienced solicitor can help you to understand these implications and guide you in making an informed decision.

2. What is the role of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in equity release?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a regulatory body in the UK that oversees the conduct of financial companies to protect consumers. By setting standards which equity release providers and advisors must adhere to, they ensure that these professionals operate in a fair, transparent, and honest manner.

As part of the FCA’s regulations, independent financial advisers and mortgage advisers offering advice on equity release must hold an appropriate qualification. This ensures that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to provide advice on these complex financial products. When considering equity release, choosing an adviser who is regulated by the FCA is recommended.

3. Can I still borrow money after releasing equity?

Yes, you can still borrow money after releasing equity, although it does depend on several factors. These include the terms of your equity release plan, your age, property value, and how much equity you’ve already released. Discussing this with your equity release provider can help you to understand how your financial situation may impact this.

As with all loans, borrowing more money after releasing equity should be considered carefully. Increasing the debt you owe can impact your financial situation, especially if your income is low. It’s always advisable to seek debt advice before making such a decision. 

4. What should I consider in the decision-making process for equity release?

Factors to consider include the potential impact on your future inheritance, your eligibility for means-tested benefits, and the potential for early or partial repayments. It’s also important to consider the costs involved, such as the interest rate and any possible charges if repaid early.

An experienced solicitor or a qualified advisor can guide you through this process. They can help you to understand the implications of each factor based on your specific situation. Consulting with family members and considering alternative options is also a good idea. As a decision which will impact your future, this is not one to rush into.

5. How can equity release help in planning for long-term care?

Equity release can provide a source of funds to cover the costs of long-term care. With the population ageing, planning for the possibility of needing care in later life is increasingly important. Equity release funds can be used for anything, including paying for home adaptations, care services, or even to move into a care home.

As with most significant financial decisions, before using equity release for this purpose, it’s important to seek advice from an independent financial adviser.

They can help you to understand the implications, as well as guiding you on the best way to use your property wealth for your long-term care needs. Age partnership, as well as a financial adviser, can provide you with the necessary guidance and support in this process.

use the equity release calculator to see how much money you could release from your property. Takes less than 60 seconds!

equity release advisers

Financial Promotions Sign-off

Where applicable, the adverts for Boon Brokers on this page have been signed off as a Financial Promotion by Boon Brokers Limited, to ensure that they are in compliance with Section 21 of FSMA. Boon Brokers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Financial Services Register number is 973757.

The Age Partnership equity release calculator has been approved and provided by Age Partnership. Age Partnership is a trading name of Age Partnership Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA registered number 425432.

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Get fee-free equity release advice from Boon Brokers.  

Call : 0333 567 1607

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If you take out a product from Boon Brokers, we will receive a fee for introducing you to them.

Unlike most equity release advisors, Boon Brokers do not charge any fees! Have a free consultation to see how they can help.

You can speak to Boon Brokers on the number below and discuss your options

0333 567 1607

Use the equity release calculator and see how much money you could receive.

You can book a call back from for an equity release specialist, who can call you when it's conveniant

All equity release advice is provided by Boon Brokers Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Financial Services Register number is 973757. 

 

If you take out a product with Boon Brokers, we will receive a fee for introducing you to them. Boon Brokers provides advice for free and without obligation.  By contacting Boon Brokers through us, the cost of any equity release product would be the same as if you had contacted them directly.  

The fee we receive is used to help keep this site operational and to produce new content.  

 

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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