Advisers should improve the way they market their equity release options and engage with local and regional press, claimed a prominent equity release provider.
His belief is that consumers have a lack of understanding about the equity release options available to them and more specifically, a lack of knowledge as to where they can access professional advice.
Recent research by provider Just Retirement found that 60% of pensioners wanted reassurance that equity release products were regulated, nine out of ten pensioners could not name an equity release lender and four out of ten did not know where to go for advice.
The Equity Release Council was formed in May with the remit to widen the scope and awareness of equity release and clearly there is still a lot of work to do.
This is emphasised by the fact that those people who do understand the need for Equity Release are very positive about how it has helped them to achieve their need.
We as an industry, have to be in full-on education mode at all times and part of the way advisers acheive this is through local media and marketing.
800,000 people believe they will need to release equity from their homes in order to maintain a decent standard of living, according to latest research.
Understood to be the largest piece of consumer research to date, equity releae provider, Just Retirement has found that the average retiree believes they need an income of £17000 a year for a good quality of life.
Retirees and those approaching retirement are also aware that the income they will get from annuities and the state is likely to fall considerably short of this and are open to opportunities such as equity release to bridge that gap.
However, the 32 page report ” The Role of Housing Equity in Retirement Planning”, not only highlights the need for equity release but also the requirement for consumer education about the product. Nine in ten could not name an equity release provider while four in ten did’nt know where to go for help and advice
60 per cent of retirees also wanted reassurances that equity release products are regulated, prompting calls for the government to work with the industry to ensure people are equipped with enough understanding to feel comfortable and confident about using such a product as part of their retirement planning.