Equity release advice being overlooked

Written by Adam Cadle

Eighty-one per cent of consumers aged 55 or over feel they could take out an equity release plan without the help of a financial adviser, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by Moneyfacts.co.uk, found that over a quarter of respondents (29%) would not trust an adviser and 8% thought advice would be too expensive. Just 19% said they would seek out a financial adviser.

One of the main factors that deterred consumers from taking out an equity release plan was the effect it would have on inheritance, but many have yet to mention this to those who could be affected.

“It’s important that consumers take the time to carefully think about equity release and discuss it with anyone who could be affected, which is why it’s good that these responses shed a light on consumers’ attitudes toward such a plan. Thankfully, equity release is being taken seriously and is not seen as a quick fix," Moneyfacts.co.uk finance expert Rachel Springall said.

“Although some consumers may be set up comfortably for their retirement, not everyone will be in the same boat. Some retirees with insufficient savings might feel that they should release equity from their home because they are equity rich but cash poor.
“Anyone considering equity release would be wise to seek advice, even if they feel they know enough to make it through the process. Going directly to a lender, such as through an advertising campaign, may be easy, but it means customers won’t get the independent comparisons that an adviser can provide.”

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