1952: High Noon – Zinnemann
It is amusing to read commentary from industry experts sometimes. The Equity Release Council have issued figures that show an increase in the number of equity release products sold. Whilst the numbers are relatively small at a little over 4300 in the first quarter of 2012 it represents cash advances of £224.8m advanced by equity release providers to homeowners.
The experts say that these numbers “signal a return to positive growth” and that 2012 should be a better year for equity release than 2011. It does rather depend on how you view the increase in debt and the sale of equity release products. They certainly have their place, but from my perspective, they are invariably the product of last resort, at which point they are of course invaluable. Essentially you would only use such a product when you have run out of other resources, which of course is symptomatic of other problems (lack of income, increased costs due to inflation and spending more generally). Therefore it is vital that to ensure that your financial plan reveals if you will run out of money. Equity release is not an area that we get involved in as we tend to have clients that have adequate resources. I’m not suggesting that these products are bad, merely that seeing increases as “growth” is an understandable, but odd way of looking at life. Rather like in a western movie, where the undertaker is measuring up the population and expecting a boom in business.

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