“The Equity Release Council figures show the significant role housing wealth is playing as people plan their finances. A person’s home is their biggest asset alongside their pension and it is now becoming more typical for both to provide a means to fund retirement.
“Recent research from Old Mutual Wealth of those aged over 50 shows that of those current retirees who use equity release, it accounts for 7% of their retirement income, however those over 50 and yet to retire say they plan to secure 26% of their total income from it.
“However, it is crucial to take advice as relying on your home in retirement is difficult and accessing it isn’t as simple as opening the right door. Last year the FCA decided to drop plans to create a standalone equity release qualification for financial advisers. These figures suggest a review of the qualification would make some sense, given the general direction of travel for retirement planning. This would help financial advisers meet the growing demand for a holistic approach to financial planning that includes equity release, whose popularity is growing at a serious pace.”