Equity release can support a good cause

02 May 2009 / by Rachael Stiles

Whilst many homeowners who take out an equity release plan do so to improve their quality of life throughout retirement, some do it in order to support a favourite cause or charity.

The most common reasons for homeowners taking out equity release schemes is mortgage repayment, according to statistics from equity release providers Home & Capital, followed by helping out their family, or repaying a loan, but some people use the money for purposes less close to home.

Pensioner Ken Wood, for example, released some of the equity from his home to rescue a vintage train.

Rather than using the money for more conventional means, Mr Wood, an active member of the Rural Life Centre in Surrey, used equity release to make a valuable contribution to the museum's railway collection by rescuing the vintage locomotive.

Mr Wood used a home reversion scheme from Home & Capital, a type of equity release whereby a part of the house is sold in return for a lump sum, to unlock 20 per cent of the value locked in his Surrey home.

The equity release plan he chose allowed him to support a cause while still retaining a substantial proportion of value in his property.

Using the money from his Home & Capital equity release plan in this way also allowed him some tax benefits, reducing his inheritance tax bill.

"Anyone with a house in the south of England these days is likely to end up paying inheritance tax. Equity release gave me a way of unloading some of the value," said Mr Wood. "I don't mind paying tax while I'm still around, but when I go I want my money used how I choose and not how the Government chooses.

"The value of my home has gone up by almost 20% since we fixed the value, so I feel as though I have lost nothing," he added.

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