While equity release is certainly not for everyone, it has improved its image considerably since the wild 1980s, with stronger regulations and ever more providers signing up to a code of conduct.
Add in low annuity rates and it is not surprising that more people have begin to consider the role that their home can play in their financial planning, making equity release a fast-growing market for financial advisers.
In 2011 a total of 16,095 equity release plans were sold, with roughly 90 per cent of sales via financial advisers. 2012 has seen the flow continue, with sales in the third quarter of 2012 showing 21 per cent growth on the year before.
This guide aims to help advisers prepare for an equity release conversation and dispel some of the misconceptions around these products, looking at types of product available, regulatory requirements and how to compare products.
Answers provided by Jon King, managing director of More 2 Life; Andrea Rozario, director general of the Equity Release Council; and Stephen Lowe, group external affairs and customer insight director at Just Retirement.