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Letter: KRS’s equity release focus is wrong

John Miller

This advert recommends forgetting about paying off credit cards and overdrafts and spending your equity release money on Christmas – do not bother about waiting for the Christmas sales, purchase pre-Christmas at the full price. Is this not how we got into the credit crunch in the first place?

Surely equity release is supposed to be the last-resort option for hard-pressed pensioners after a consideration of alternatives including trading down, grants and use of savings?

To encourage equity release on frivolous reasons – that is, buying Christmas presents for grandchildren, bigger Easter gggs for grandchildren or a last trip to the seaside with the grandchildren – is more about the company grabbing market share than anything else.

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I am sure the grandchildren would appreciate their inheritance from their grandparents at a later date rather than some long-forgotten Christmas presents.

John Miller

Financial Adviser

Niven Financial

Port Seton

Lothian

RIGHT TO REPLY

The principle behind this is to allow readers to consider the different options available to them to make purchases that they plan to make and to consider the best way for them to fund this.

The first step is to review existing savings or investments, and the second is to fully cover alternative methods of funding. The advice process we follow is extremely robust and before anyone releases any equity all alternatives are fully explored.

It is a sad fact that we see many people with other forms of debt at much higher cost, which has been accrued for the very same reasons highlighted here and they turn to equity release to clear that debt.

We do not dictate to anyone how equity release must be used, but it is a fact that grandparents do want to gift to their children and grandchildren and many do not have the luxury of having high enough levels of savings or even access to other forms of funding, or those alternatives may come at considerably higher cost.

Dean Mirfin

Group Director

Key Retirement Solutions Group