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Equity Release Supermarket News Exploring Your Options to Help Achieve Financial Peace of Mind
Exploring Your Options to Help Achieve Financial Peace of Mind
Equity Release Supermarket News Exploring Your Options to Help Achieve Financial Peace of Mind

Exploring Your Options to Help Achieve Financial Peace of Mind

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Peter Sharkey
Checked for accuracy and updated on 08 April 2024

Driving through the Cotswolds’ quiet, winding roads affords numerous opportunities to admire gentle, rolling hills, dramatic skies and an impressive collection of fast-running streams complementing deeper, more sedate canals. Against this unhurried backdrop, my wife and I chatted as we motored homeward recently when suddenly, an unusually loud noise pierced the peace and quiet. It sounded like someone playing an over-loud tambourine in the rear seat. This was followed by an equally noisy, distressingly uncomfortable metallic screeching.

The road was too narrow to stop and investigate, so we drove another mile or so to a lay-by where I could get out of the car and examine the damage.

Nothing. No dents in the bodywork; the rear wheels were still in place and mercifully, I hadn’t inadvertently run over some wildlife. Puzzled, but none the wiser, we drove on. Slowly.

A few miles further down the road, thankfully free of any further peculiar noises, we happened upon a sleepy-looking village garage, turned in and spotted what proved to be the establishment’s proprietor, a big man in his early sixties wearing an oily overall. I explained what had happened and asked if he would mind taking a look.

Despite being up to his eyes in work (his garage’s sleepy external appearance hid significant behind-the-scenes endeavour), the man carved out ten minutes of his time to check the wheel arches and declare, “It’s an audible warning.” This sounded ominous. The man then provided some detail. “Your brake pads are nearing the end of their lives so the noises you heard were an alert to let you know they need changing.”

With more than 200 miles to travel before we reached home, I asked if he could replace them. “Not unless you can wait a week,” he replied. Spotting my obvious concern, he smiled and said,” But you’ve got a good thousand miles on these pads before they really should be changed.”

My sigh of relief was as audible as the screeching brake pads; the chap wouldn’t accept a penny for his advice for which I was extremely grateful. The peace of mind his professional assessment had delivered was of enormous comfort.

“Have a safe journey home,” he concluded, “and try to avoid slamming on the brakes.” I heeded his advice and we headed homewards.

Worry, often of the unknown (I didn’t know about brake pads’ audible warnings), can quickly compound itself and cause further anxiety, often to the point where it becomes a burden. My screeching brake pads triggered apprehension as we meandered through the Cotswolds, yet our uneasiness was resolved inside a few minutes by an experienced man whose appraisal eradicated our discomfort and created much-needed peace of mind.

Peace of mind is invariably determined by circumstance. In some instances, we can afford to take a risk, be a little bold, safe in the knowledge that if things fail to turn out as we want or expect, any subsequent harm will be negligible. Ensuring your car’s brakes work properly is one area where there is no leeway for error because taking a cavalier attitude towards safety could be catastrophic.

Fortunately, as we get older, we strive to achieve a more straight forward, less risky, way of life. This is particularly true when it comes to personal finance because we want to avoid financial mistakes as we either career toward retirement, or are already retired.

It follows that achieving financial peace of mind is not only an understandable aim, but the assurance it provides can effectively facilitate the realisation of our retirement goals.

Of course, these goals can be all-consuming, especially for people who wish to effect radical change in their lives. This could be by heading off to a part of the world they’ve never explored; enjoying a house-swap for a year with a family in Australia; visiting Machu Piccu in southern Peru, or selling up and buying a Spanish villa to where they can retire and enjoy warm, year-round sunshine. Now there’s a thought…

Not everyone wants to go ‘all-in’. For most folks, more modest, though no less important, goals could include spending more time with the family, or improving a rather rusty golf swing. Volunteering is high on the list for many greyer haired folks, as is socialising, exercising (these two often go together) and a host of other activities made possible and more enjoyable because participants have achieved financial peace of mind.

Indeed, it’s fair to say that provided we’re blessed with good health, retirement offers us a remarkable range of possible opportunities of which our forebears could only dream. Being able to embrace these opportunities is a direct consequence of financial peace of mind, which explains the burgeoning popularity of equity release.

“We speak with thousands of people who are looking forward to retirement. They’ve written and revised their ‘to do’ list dozens of times, but remain mindful that they must also finance their post-working life goals. After speaking with one of our consultants, people are invariably delighted to discover how a percentage of the wealth built up in their property, usually over many years, could play a huge part in bringing their retirement aspirations to life,” says Mark Gregory, chief executive of Equity Release Supermarket, the UK’s largest independent equity release firm.

Statistics show that the majority of people for whom equity release is a realistic option are not necessarily in the market for a year-long, back-packing hike across Asia, or renting a motorhome and driving across the USA. Instead, they have more prosaic aims, such as paying off an interest-only mortgage, or improving their homes. This latter option tops the ‘to do’ list for a surprisingly large number of people who have opted to release the ‘bricks-and-mortar’ wealth accumulated within their property.

Our retirement objectives are as distinctive as the person, or people, who have created them, perhaps while mindful of C.S. Lewis’s famous observation: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” If these dreams are underpinned by financial peace of mind, there’s an excellent chance they’ll come true.

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