If you’re ready to take on your dream retirement, the first question to ask is - are you ready to finance it?
At Equity Release Supermarket, we often find that while our clients may have a reasonable pension pot, large enough to cover day to day expenses, they don’t have adequate savings in place to pay for big ticket expenses, such as making home modifications that may be necessary in the years to come when you may become less mobile.
One of the main advantages of using a lifetime mortgage (the most popular equity release plan) to support your retirement funds is their flexibility.
There are now over 300 different plans to choose from, which can be tailored to your individual needs. For example, if you need the maximum you can borrow as a one off amount, then a lump sum plan could tick the boxes. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to borrow in smaller amounts over time, then a drawdown plan could be the right option for you.
And if you do find that you have a large regular income in retirement, there are lots of repayment options available, to manage the interest accruing on your plan.
So, what should you spend the money you release on? If home modifications are a priority to ‘future poof’ your home: read on.
1. In the bathroom
Slips in the bath are pretty commonplace, but when you’re in your golden years it can be difficult to recover, even from the most minor slips or trips.
Thankfully, accidents are easily prevented when you make just a few small modifications to your bathroom. Additions like non-slip shower mats, shower seats, grab bars, and bathroom doors that can be unlocked from the outside can be real life savers.
For the bigger bathroom jobs, like installing a walk-in shower or bath, you will need to bring in a fitter. These could be expensive and so it may be a good time to dip into your equity release funds to pay for it.
2. In the living room
While we haven’t been able to spend time with loved ones recently, it’s not always going to be this way. So, in preparation for family get togethers, you will want to ensure there is enough space to house them all.
To make it a great place for family to pop by, simplify your seating arrangements so that everyone can fit in. This might involve removing rarely used furniture that clutters up a room, or taking away low-angled obstacles, such as coffee tables.
As for modifying to suit those with reduced mobility, you could take this opportunity to release funds from your lifetime mortgage to finally pay for that living room renovation. Whether this involves converting it into a bedroom or making it open plan for easy navigation is up to you.
3. In the kitchen
Between all the cooking, cleaning and eating, much of our day is spent in the kitchen. In fact, according to renovation website Houzz, we spend an average 2.8 hours each day in the kitchen; so it’s important our cooking stations are as safe as possible.
The first essential: light your kitchen as brightly as possible. Target task-specific areas, such as over oven hobs, inside cupboards and around prep areas; all those that you frequent daily.
Non-slip kitchen tiles are also a worthwhile investment. You can easily install these over your existing kitchen floor. Consider them like the non-slip mat in your bath; you can live without it, but once you’ve got it, it’s a ‘must’.
4. In the hallway
It’s no good modifying your rooms, only for them to be difficult to get to in the first place.
Fittings like motion-activated lights can help those with poor eyesight navigate the hallways at night or on a gloomy day. They’re easy enough to fit (many just involve a mounting screw), but there are also plug-in motion lights which are just as good.
If stairs are an issue for you, then small modifications, such as secure banisters and handrails, can mitigate the strain. Stairlifts are a bigger investment, but they are essential if you have trouble walking and live alone. In which case, equity release can help pay towards your stairlift – and ensure you enjoy a comfortable retirement in the home you love.
Want to find out more about how equity release can fund your home improvements? Contact the Equity Release Supermarket team on Freephone 0800 802 1051 or send us an email.