CAVENDISH EQUITY RELEASE. The Essential Guide. Equity Release TRUSTED & IMPARTIAL ADVICE SINCE 1985

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1 CAVENDISH Equity Release TRUSTED & IMPARTIAL ADVICE SINCE 1985 EQUITY RELEASE The Essential Guide

2 INDEX Welcome to Cavendish Equity Release 3 How can Equity Release be used? 4 Why is specialist advice so important? 5 What are the main options? Home Reversion Plans 7 Lifetime Mortgage Plans 8-12 Roll-up - cash lump sum 8 Roll-up - drawdown 10 Interest-only lifetime mortgages 12 A thumbnail comparison of Equity Release Plans 13 What guarantees and protection do you have? 14 This guide is designed to provide general information on Equity Release. It does not constitute specific advice and should not be relied upon as such. Always seek professional advice for your individual requirements. Cavendish Equity Release has guided and advised thousands of homeowners since it was founded in You can reach us on FREEPHONE Cavendish Equity Release Cavendish Equity Release is a trading name of Cavendish Property Investments Ltd. Suite 4, Chapel Allerton District Centre, Town Street, off Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 4NB Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority FSA reference number Registered in England No Consumer Credit Licence No Issued by the Office of Fair Trading. 2 EQUITY RELEASE - The Essential Guide

3 Welcome to Cavendish Equity Release If you are a homeowner and close to or past retirement, your home is probably your greatest asset and possibly the most successful investment you have made. It may be the only significant investment you have made. Yet whilst the value of your home may look good on paper, it is of no practical use to you unless it can be released as cash so that you can cope with or enjoy what should be the best years of your life. Equity is the term given to what your home is worth after allowing for debts such as mortgage loans that have been secured on it. So, for example, if a home is valued at 200,000, but there is an outstanding mortgage of 50,000, the equity is 150,000. Equity Release allows you to convert some of the equity to cash in your hands without your having to sell up and move out. Of course, you can raise money at any age by increasing your mortgage, but Cavendish is able to offer plans that are exclusive to homeowners who are 55 or more: they allow equity to be released without any need for you to make monthly repayments. Freephone

4 How can Equity Release be used? Equity Release is becoming more popular as house prices have taken off in recent years. At the same time, state benefits seem inadequate and we re living longer: it s as if we have more wealth, but little cash! Equity Release has been used for many different purposes in the past including: Repaying outstanding debts and mortgage loans: clearing the decks for retirement Private health care: including long-term care Home and garden improvements: this may include home alterations to improve personal mobility or homecare Gifts and tax planning: a chance to help children and grandchildren perhaps, or a chance to reduce the risk of your estate paying inheritance tax Pension planning: to form part of an overall strategy for funding retirement School fees: an investment that can pay dividends for the rest of a grandchild s life Home deposits: an opportunity to release your equity to fund the deposit of a child s or grandchild s first step on the property ladder Cavendish offers different types of equity release to suit different circumstances and objectives. Before committing yourself to any type of scheme (or indeed dismissing the option), you should take two simple steps: Step 1: consider what you want the money for, how much you want and whether you want it as a lump sum, a series of irregular lump sums or an income. Step 2: discuss your conclusions with an independent, specialist adviser. Cavendish Equity Release is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is one of the oldest Independent Equity Release Specialists in the sector. 4 EQUITY RELEASE - The Essential Guide

5 Why is specialist advice so important? We all have different circumstances and different objectives. That s why guides, leaflets and advertisements can only tell half the story. They offer a list of solutions without taking the time to design the right plan for you. Some providers will only offer their own products because they are not allowed to advise on the whole market and others will only accept applications made via qualified advisers. Getting the decision wrong could cost you a great deal of money even though some of the plans look very similar. Cavendish Equity Release has access to the whole of the market and its advisers are trained and qualified to recommend what is right for you. For all these reasons, we work with professional advisers such as solicitors who are familiar with Equity Release (some will advise against because they don t understand them!). However, the choice of solicitor will be yours. Cavendish Equity Release offers a full advice and recommendation service for which we charge a fee. This is only payable when you receive your cash and is typically 1.5% of the amount released. Checklist Are You Eligible For Equity Release? The youngest applicant (if you apply in joint-names) must be over 55 The property must have a minimum value of 40,000 Potentially, plans are available for properties valued up to an unlimited sum The property to be used must be your main residence and in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland If the property is leasehold, the minimum unexpired term must be at least 75 years (although you may be able to extend this) Local authority property must be outside the discount period You must be able to raise enough money to repay existing secured loans Note that some plans have tighter rules. So, for example, the minimum age might be higher than 55 and the minimum property value might be higher than 40,000. Answers to this checklist do not guarantee that an application will be accepted Freephone

6 6 EQUITY RELEASE - The Essential Guide

7 What are the main options? There are two main types of Equity Release plans, but there is a range of competing providers. Each varies in what it offers and how it can best be adjusted to your circumstances and objectives. Home Reversion Plans These plans allow you to sell all or part of your property now, for a tax-free cash lump sum. However, a legal agreement guarantees that you continue to live in the home rent-free (or for a nominal rent such as 12 a year) as long as you wish or until you die. Home Reversion Plans have a number of benefits. The main ones are: No monthly payments (except perhaps a nominal rent) You can retain part of the property to give to your beneficiaries on your death You still have the privacy of your own home They are regulated by the Financial Services Authority You can sell just part of the property if you so wish. In the event that the property is subsequently sold, the proceeds will be payable to you and the plan provider in proportion to the share of the property you sold when you took out the plan. You won t raise as much money as if you sell the property with vacant possession because you are being guaranteed rent-free occupation for the rest of your life. To qualify for a home reversion plan you will generally have to be at least 65 (or the youngest joint applicant at least 65). The amount of cash you ll receive will vary with age and whether you re male or female. You can expect to raise from 35% to 72% of the property s vacant possession value. This is a Home Reversion Plan. To understand the features and risks ask for a personalised illustration. Freephone

8 Lifetime Mortgage Plans The other main type of Equity Release plan is the Lifetime Mortgage Plan. There are three main versions of the Lifetime Mortgage Plan and each is designed to do a different job. What they all have in common is that you retain ownership of the home and borrow a percentage of the property value. These are lifetime mortgages. To understand the features and risks ask for a personalised illustration. Roll-up - cash lump sum Under this version of the Lifetime Mortgage Plan, you borrow a percentage of the property value, but you don t have to make any monthly mortgage repayments of the loan or interest. Each year (or month) interest is added to the loan. There is no set repayment date. The loan becomes repayable on the sale of the property when the last applicant dies or moves into long-term care. The loan can be repaid earlier, but it may then be subject to an additional early repayment charge. 8 EQUITY RELEASE - The Essential Guide

9 The minimum loan is generally 10,000. You must usually be at least 60 (although some plans start from 55) but because the outstanding loan increases with interest each year (and quite quickly in later years), younger applicants may only borrow a small percentage of the property value. However, if your property increases in value, you may be able to top up your loan at a later date (subject to additional charges). As a safeguard, Cavendish Equity Release will ensure that the plan it recommends includes a no-negative equity guarantee. This means that if you keep the property in good repair and comply with the terms of the agreement, neither you nor your estate will ever be required to repay more than the property s value. If the property value remains more than the outstanding loan plus interest, the excess is payable to you or your estate when the loan and interest are repaid to the plan provider. Here is how it works a case study Margaret is 65 and has a house worth 200,000 with no outstanding mortgage. She takes out a cash lump sum lifetime mortgage of 50,000 with an interest rate of 6.35%*. The overall cost for comparison is 6.4% APR. The interest rate is fixed for life and is added annually. Margaret dies 15 years later, by which time the total loan is 125,902. That s the original loan of 50,000 plus the accumulated interest. If her house increased in value by 1% each year, it would now be worth 232,194. So when the house is sold and the loan repaid Margaret s estate will receive 106,292. *The actual rate available will depend on your circumstance. Ask for a personalised illustration. Please note that this is only an example and the value of your house could go down or not increase at the same rate. Cavendish Equity Release always ensures that there is a no-negative equity guarantee. Furthermore, some Lifetime Mortgages will also allow you to "protect" a proportion of the property value. If you are worried about how much you will owe in the future this can provide considerable peace of mind as it will guarantee leaving an inheritance. A qualified Cavendish Adviser will guide you through the options available as the amount you will be able to raise may reduce or a different interest rate could apply. Freephone

10 Roll-up - drawdown This is another variation on a Lifetime Mortgage Plan. Instead of your having to take a single cash lump sum initially and then having to make additional applications for further advances, a drawdown plan allows you to receive a series of smaller cash lump sums. With a drawdown plan, the lender agrees the maximum amount you can borrow. You can take a smaller initial cash lump sum and then have a cash facility up to a pre-agreed limit, to withdraw amounts when you need them. The amounts drawn down are secured on your home and are repayable, with interest, from your estate. Interest is only charged on the money you have drawn down. This means that as the loan is smaller in the earlier years, the total interest added to the loan is less than if you took the full amount initially. Therefore you re not paying unnecessary costs on money you don t yet need. Each cash drawdown is provided at the prevailing rate of interest at the time of the withdrawal. 10 EQUITY RELEASE - The Essential Guide

11 Here s how it works a case study Susan is 65 and has a house worth 200,000 with no mortgage. She takes out a drawdown lifetime mortgage with an initial lump sum of 20,000 and a cash facility of 20,000 available for up to 10 years. The interest rate is 6.35%* and the overall cost for comparison is 6.6% APR. The interest rate is fixed for life and added annually. Five years later, Susan needs an additional 10,000 which she draws down. Susan dies 10 years later. By this time the total amount borrowed is 30,000. The total loan plus interest that must be repaid is 68,868. If Susan had taken the full 30,000 up front, the total loan plus interest would have been 75,541. *The actual rate of interest will depend on your circumstances. Ask for a personalised illustration. Please note that this is only an example and the value of your house could go down or not increase at the same rate. Cavendish Equity Release always ensures that there is a no-negative equity guarantee. The key advantages of Roll-up Lifetime Mortgage Plans are: You still own your home You are not required to make any monthly payments (interest rolls up and is added to the loan) Your property cannot be repossessed even if the total amount of the loan plus interest exceeds the property s value so long as you have maintained it and complied with the mortgage agreement You can live in the property until the last applicant dies or has moved into long-term care You can move in the future to another suitable property subject to criteria. In some cases this may require the partial repayment of the loan and perhaps an early repayment charge The plan reduces the value of your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes Freephone

12 Interest-only Lifetime Mortgages A Home Reversion Plan and Roll-up Lifetime Mortgage Plan do not require you to make any monthly payments. If you have an Interest-only Lifetime Mortgage, you receive a lump sum and pay interest on the loan each month. The amount you can borrow depends on your age, your property s value and what you can afford. Therefore, this type of plan is only suitable if you have a regular source of income such as a salary or pension. The interest rate (and therefore the monthly payments) is fixed at the outset and payments are made monthly. The result is that the amount of the loan does not increase, unlike a Roll-up Lifetime Mortgage Plan. Unlike a conventional mortgage there is no fixed term and the amount you originally borrowed is repaid when your home is sold. Ordinarily your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. However, Cavendish will only recommend interest-only plans where there is a provision which allows you to convert to a Roll-up Lifetime Mortgage where no repayments are required. 12 EQUITY RELEASE - The Essential Guide

13 Equity Release Plans - a thumbnail comparison HOME REVERSION PLAN Features You sell the property You live in your home You pay no (or little) rent Available from 65 Amounts of 35%-72% of value Advantages No monthly payments Guaranteed occupancy Regulated by the FSA LIFETIME MORTGAGE: ROLL- UP - LUMP SUM Features Advantages You mortgage the property You still own the property No repayment date No monthly payments Available from 55 Your home cannot be repossessed No-negative equity guarantee You can move to another property Loan increases each year Regulated by the FSA LIFETIME MORTGAGE: ROLL- UP Features You have a borrowing facility You drawdown cash lump sums when needed No repayment date Loan increases each year - DRAWDOWN Advantages You still own the property No monthly payments Interest accrues only on amounts drawndown Your home cannot be repossessed You can move to another property Regulated by the FSA LIFETIME MORTGAGE: INTEREST Features You pay monthly repayments of interest The interest rate is fixed at outset The outstanding loan does not increase No repayment date You need a regular source of income to qualify ONLY Advantages More chance of leaving money to the beneficiaries Regulated by the FSA It s important to bear in mind that Equity Release could affect your entitlement to some state benefits and Equity Release may affect plans you have for your estate in respect of inheritance. Please speak to one of our fully qualified advisers for further details on Freephone

14 What guarantees and protection do you have? There are a number of bodies to ensure that you are protected if you take out an Equity Release plan. Safe Home Income Plans This is a trade body supported by the leading providers of Home Income and Equity Release plans. It is dedicated to the protection of planholders and the promotion of Home Income and Equity Release plans. Members of Safe Home Income Plans give you a number of guarantees: You cannot lose your home whatever happens to house prices, the stock market or to interest rates The scheme ensures that there will be a no-negative equity guarantee The scheme will guarantee that you (and your partner) can stay in your property for the rest of your life and you must have the right to move home without penalty, subject to conditions. 14 EQUITY RELEASE - The Essential Guide

15 The Council of Mortgage Lenders The Council of Mortgage Lenders is the trade association for mortgage lenders operating in the UK. Their members are banks, building societies and other mortgage lenders. The Council helps to develop mortgage lending policy and issues guidance on best practice for those working in the industry. The Financial Services Authority This is a statutory body with legal enforcement powers. It is responsible for the regulation of mortgage advice (this includes Lifetime Mortgages) and Home Reversion Plans. Solicitors If you apply for an Equity Release plan, you must have a solicitor to act on your behalf. The solicitor will not usually be allowed to give you financial advice, but will arrange for the legal requirements to be met and will advise you on the legal aspects of the plan. You should try to appoint a solicitor who is experienced in dealing with Equity Release plans. Your solicitor should explain the effect the plan will have on the value of your estate and can also advise you on whether you should rewrite your will. It is entirely your choice which solicitor acts for you. Solicitors with experience of Equity Release plans: Usually charge lower fees Generally complete the plan more quickly Are happy to sign a certificate certifying that you understand all the aspects of the plan (because they will provide a layman s explanation) Cavendish Equity Release has a list of solicitors who are all very experienced in acting for Equity Release applicants. Some of them are dealing with applicants at any one time. Please note that these are not our solicitors: they are independent and regulated by the Law Society. They must act only in the interests of their clients. The client is you. Freephone

16 CAVENDISH Equity Release TRUSTED & IMPARTIAL ADVICE SINCE 1985 Suite 4, Chapel Allerton District Centre, Town Street, off Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 4NB Telephone: Facsimile: DOC/REF-0708

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