Homes pay out £86m to retired Scots

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Property wealth is boosting the retirement standard of living of Scottish pensioners by more than £86 million, according to new analysis from Keyretirement.com

The leading finance specialist’s Equity Release Market Monitor shows retired Scottish homeowners have pocketed more than £55,000 tax-free by releasing wealth from their homes in the past year.

The detailed study found families are among the biggest beneficiaries with 21% of retired homeowners using some or all of the cash to help out relatives with everything from money for deposits to buy their own home to helping with living expenses.

Scottish pensioners were more likely to use their property wealth to help family than go on holiday – just 16% used some or all of the money to fund holidays of a lifetime.

However the main motivation for releasing property wealth was to pay for home and garden improvements – nearly half (49%) of pensioners invested some or all of the cash in revamping their property. Around 34% of pensioners used the money to clear debts on credit cards and loans including mortgages.

Key’s data shows nearly 1,600 Scottish pensioners used their homes to help fund retirement last year and released on average £55,200 from their homes which were valued at an average of £190,800. The average equity release customer in Scotland was aged 71.

Dean Mirfin, technical director at Key Retirement, said: “Property wealth is making a huge contribution to retirement planning and that is demonstrated by the wide range of issues Scottish pensioners can tackle. It is interesting that retired Scots are more likely to help out family than spend money on a holiday but that is partly because they are able to release more than £55,000 and their money is able to go further. The biggest use of property wealth is to pay for home and garden improvements and it remains the case that many Scottish pensioners need to clear debts. Equity release is a real alternative for pensioners who are seeing traditional retirement income solutions squeezed by historically low interest rates.”

Anyone looking to release equity from their home can get Key’s independent guide to equity release by calling 0800 531 6027 or visiting www.keyretirement.co.uk/equity-release/free-guide/