We hear a lot in the media about dwindling pensions and a concern for our financial security as we age. Considered by experts as one of the soundest investments, property – for a lot of people – is key to a secure financial future and moreover our children’s financial future.
We met with financial expert Liz Murley, of Apex CB Financial Planning, to find out more about Equity Release (now known as Lifetime Mortgages) and how they can work for you.
Who is Apex CB Financial Planning?
For those of you who haven’t (yet) heard of Apex CB, here is the background; it all started with Managing Director Chris Ryan, who opened the business back in 2004. Having been in financial services professionally for 12 years, he saw an opportunity to develop a business focused on long-term relationships and a personal approach.
Liz has worked in financial services primarily in the mortgage sector for 35 years, developing a broad knowledge of all property related financials. A few years ago, her appetite for change grew and she decided to explore the world of ‘Equity Release Mortgages’, so she went back to studying and obtained the required qualifications. It was towards the end of her studies that (by chance) Liz and Chris got talking. He was looking for someone with a complementary skillset and likewise Liz was looking for somewhere to put her new skills into good use and so the alliance was formed.
Apex CB handles everything you would expect from a fully independent financial advice business, including wealth management, investment, pensions and life assurance and now a full mortgage advice service. Together with Liz’s skills and experience, they are also pleased to offer a full financial planning and advice service for Lifetime Mortgages.
The old-school equity release schemes of 10 years ago developed a poor reputation for being expensive, complex and in some cases involved selling your home for a discounted up-front lump sum.
Today’s Lifetime Mortgages are very different and offer financial peace of mind in your later life, with borrowing costs at a historic low, and advice that is fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (the financial industry watchdog) and covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. It is the fastest growing area of the mortgage market with total lending for 2016 reaching £2.15 billion. Equity Release Council research revealed that a total of 27,534 new plans were agreed last year.
For some, they are the only solution to the 1.5 million interest only mortgages, where in many cases the borrower has no plan to repay the loan and unable to extend the term. Faced with selling or repossession when the mortgage ends, many are switching to a Lifetime Mortgage instead.
The Bank of Mum and Dad
It’s no secret that today’s generation of first-time buyers are struggling, with many of them turning to the “Bank of mum and dad” to raise the deposit to buy their first home. The Halifax First-Time Buyer Review has found that the average deposit is now £33,000 in the South – £100,000 if you are buying in London. For many parents and grandparents a Lifetime Mortgage provides the ideal solution to help the younger generation get their first home without tying up their savings or liquidating investments and there can be Inheritance Tax savings by gifting away equity. Known as “inter-generational gifting”, money gifted as an advanced inheritance could help your family raise the money needed for a home of their own.
What is a Lifetime Mortgage?
Essentially it is a loan secured against your property, which allows you to retain ownership where you don’t have to make monthly payments.
What are some of the benefits?
There are numerous benefits that come with an Equity Release -Lifetime Mortgage, including:
- The ability to release money without selling your home.
- You can live in your home as long as you want to.
- You can choose to have a lump sum, more income or a cash reserve to draw on as you need.
- Fixed borrowing costs so you know exactly what you will owe at all times.
- The ‘no negative equity’ guarantee means that you will never leave any debt for your family.
How much could you borrow?
There are some age restrictions when it comes to actually taking out a Lifetime Mortgage, with that being said, there’s no reason why you can’t prepare yourself with a wealth of knowledge on the subject for the future. The maximum amount you could borrow is 50% of the value of your property (subject to a variety of factors). Say you’re between the ages of 60-70, in generally good health and your property is in good condition, you could borrow up to 35% of the value of your home. An individual analysis would be performed in any new enquiry, to give a specific percentage.
Lifetime Mortgages can be a useful solution for many reasons, such as providing support to your family to help them onto the property ladder, repaying your existing interest only mortgage, supplementing your pension and lifestyle in retirement to name but a few.
Apex CB: A Name You Can Trust
Apex has two fully qualified Equity Release advisers in Chris and Liz and are members of the Equity Release Council, so you can rest assure that you are in the safe hands of their expert team. As an independent, family-run business, Apex CB understand the importance of being able to help your loved ones, which is why they work on your behalf to understand your circumstances and find the best possible solution for you and your individual situation.
The whole process always begins with a free, no-obligations consultation to explore your options. Chris explains, “We recognise that taking out a lifetime mortgage after spending years working to repay the house purchase mortgage doesn’t sit well with many people. Therefore before deciding that a Lifetime Mortgage is the best option we discuss all other possibilities first.” Apex CB will then get to work, undertaking extensive research of the market, to find a solution best matched to your individual needs. There are no secrets here; everything is laid out in black and white, no hidden fees or nasty surprises and they encourage the whole family to be informed throughout the process. Most importantly, Apex CB is there for you every single step of the way to make sure things flow smoothly. As an extra precaution with Lifetime Mortgages you must also receive independent legal advice and have plenty of time to reflect on your decisions.
For many people, easy access to capital just isn’t an option in later life. Whether it’s to help family, make home improvements, supplement your pension or simply enjoy the lifestyle in retirement you dreamed of, a Lifetime Mortgage could be the answer.
This is a Lifetime Mortgage, to understand the features and risks always ask for a personalised illustration.
For more information contact Apex CB Financial Planning Ltd on:
t. 01202 622223
a. Apex CB Financial Planning Ltd, 4 Axium Centre, Dorchester Rd, Lytchett Minster, Poole, Dorset, BH16 6FE