Record breaking growth
Equity release is one of the fastest growing sectors in financial services, doubling in size in the last three years. In H1 2022, homeowners unlocked a record £2.56 billion in new lending from the value of their homes and with 25,448 new plans taken out, more and more homeowners over the age of 55 are using their housing wealth to support their finances in later life.
This growth has been accelerated by new providers entering the market, creating competition and bringing about new innovative products and a wide array of options to suit different retirement planning needs.
Customers who could benefit from equity release
Property wealth can be used to help customers in a variety of situations so clients should be encouraged to consider all of the choices available to them when approaching retirement.
We’ve looked at the different reasons your clients may look to equity release and it is possible to group them into some distinct categories:
As a population we’re living longer than ever and therefore our pension savings will need to last longer too. This means your clients will need to think about how they’ll budget, or look for additional sources of cash in order to live the retirement they deserve.
Home and garden improvements remains the most popular use of equity release. Your clients may want to bring their home up to date or create a more comfortable living environment for their retirement.
Travelling can be a chance to experience new cultures, see different parts of the world, and maybe even reconnect with family or friends who are living abroad. But all too often a squeezed budget can get in the way of making these trips a reality.
Debt is a challenging issue for many people nearing or entering retirement. There are a substantial number of people entering retirement with outstanding debt, whether this is an interest only mortgage with no way of fully repaying the debt, or credit card or loan debts. Equity release could help to ease the pressure.
Using equity release to treat friends and family is becoming increasingly popular and highlights the intergenerational benefits seen within families of releasing equity. Typically the funds are to help pay for a significant life event (i.e. wedding), property investment (assisting a child or grandchild onto the property ladder with a gifted deposit) or to pay for university fees. It can be seen as a living inheritance and as a consequence it could help your clients to reduce their inheritance tax liability (IHT). To understand the implications on your IHT liability your client will need to seek advice from a tax specialist.
Clients looking to buy a second/holiday home or move house can use equity release to fund this and this is an area often misunderstood by advisers who are not familiar with the market.
Divorce is already a stressful time without having the added pressure of worrying about finances. Equity release could allow your client to ‘buy out’ their partner.
It is clear that there are significant opportunities for intermediaries to be able to help clients with their later-life needs. Working with an equity release referral partner can help you make the most of these opportunities without the need for specialist knowledge or qualifications.
Refer to an expert
Making sure customers have the right advice in this area is vital, and partnering with a specialist referral business such as Key Partnerships enables you to expand your scope of service whilst maintaining that relationship with your clients.
A good referral partner can work with you to help develop your business in the equity release sector. Valuable support includes training on how to identify clients that may be suitable for equity release and tools to help you talk through their needs. They’ll also give you access to a toolkit of customer-facing guides, posters and email and letter templates so you can actively promote this option to your clients throughout their referral journey.
How to refer
The process of referring to an equity release specialist is as simple as providing the client’s name, age, date of birth and contact details. The advice firm will take full compliance responsibility for the equity release advice they provide, and you can have as much or as little involvement in the process as you’d like. Alongside supporting your clients, for every case that completes you could add a valuable income stream to your business. In 2021, the average Key Partnerships referral fee paid on each completed case was £1,980*.
For more information on how your clients could benefit from equity release contact Key Partnerships on 0800 138 1663, email: info@keypartnerships or visit the Key Partnerships website.
 Key UK Equity Release Market Monitor Half Year 2022