SunLife has produced research that shows that over-55s believe that, on average, they need £114,436 to enjoy their retirement, while the average equity in their homes stands at £282,623.
The over-50s specialist found that 82 per cent of older homeowners had paid off their mortgage entirely, while those with debt remaining owned an average of £55,044 – “less than a fifth of the total value,” (£290,659), the firm says.
SunLife recently added an equity release calculator function to its website, which shows how much homeowners could release. However, SunLife also published research in late July that showed that only 11 per cent of homeowners aged 55 or over fully understood how equity release worked.
SunLife equity release service director Simon Stanney says: “This is a generation that are generally property rich and cash poor due to healthy increase in the value of their homes, but inflation eating away at pension pots and increased living costs.
“62% of those surveyed said they categorically did not want to downsize, which means the solution for the majority could be to unlock some of the value in their homes via equity release.
“Equity release lending has more than doubled in the past two years… it is clear that equity release is fast becoming the preferred choice among people over 55 to fund the retirement they want.