Hi Ho Silver Lining – is equity release the last dance saloon for retirement?

Back in the day, when we all felt bomb-proof on a Saturday night at the village hall dance, many a happy evening ended with a rousing chorus of Hi Ho Silver Lining. Young, free, and years before your face book page told the world whether or not you were single, with property prices rising faster than today’s price of diesel, the most likely certainty was that we’d all live happily ever after.

Actually the inescapable fact is that we’re all living longer. The not so good fact is a major part of the capital that ensures we enjoy a retirement and doesn’t demand a sacrifice in lifestyle is often locked up in property. Possibly worse still living longer means this capital is also denied to our offspring, and indeed our grand-offspring, whose lifestyle we might also like to support or enhance.

Happily for some, losing sleep at night worrying about what sort of lifestyle the family will have when the commuting stops isn’t an issue. But for tens of thousands of us the problems of generating an income and helping the kids and grandkids get a foot on the ladder of life are very real. Especially when you factor in annuity rates which seem to be going in ever diminishing circles.

For those not blessed with a stonking great pension pot, especially the cohort facing retirement in the next 5 years or so, the future looks a gloomy place. We can’t help but think that accessing the capital many people have locked up in bricks and mortar must be the key to a rosier horizon. But, as yet, the mechanics and the product don’t seem to be there. Anybody got any bright ideas?

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