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The growth in the number of products and options available in the equity release market at the moment is only surpassed by the British public’s willingness to explore this previously maligned product.

According to the Equity Release Council, there are now over 300 product options available which represents a 42% increase in the last year alone. It seems that today’s breed of retirees are more intent than ever on capitalising on their biggest asset and leveraging their properties in order to enjoy the retirement that they’ve always aspired to.

The traditional approach of accessing a one off lump sum has given way to the increasingly popular drawdown products. Increasingly, customers come to us with needs and aspirations that are complex and require injections of cash over a period that can stretch over several months and even years.

Drawdown products offer customers the security of a preagreed source of funds which they can draw on as the need arises. Beyond providing for the usual home modifications, home improvements and holidays, these products even lend themselves to being used to fund care needs.

The monthly income option products like the one recently introduced by one of the largest lenders has opened this market up to a whole new base of customers who are looking to supplement their pension income on a monthly basis.

Although it is undeniable that we have never had so much choice in this market, this is precisely the reason why it is more important than ever to consider your options carefully and seek quality, holistic advice. At The Equity Release Store, all our advisers are fully trained to advise on all areas of your finances. We firmly believe that the only way to achieve the best outcome for a customer is if careful consideration has been given to all their options and this is not possible if your adviser is only qualified to discuss equity release.

Although equity release is a much more customer friendly and flexible product than it was 10 or 15 years ago, it’s effectively a lifetime mortgage. As such, careful consideration need to be paid to all options before embarking on this path. This is particularly important when we consider that the amount available to you will increase depending on your age and the value of your property so delaying the inevitable by a few years can make a huge difference and let’s not forget that the earlier you embark on this path, the longer you will be paying interest for!

There is no doubt that this market will evolve further. These products will become cheaper and more flexible as more providers enter the market, increasing competition and choice even further. The only constant that will remain as the market evolves is the need for good quality holistic advice and the need for customers to make well informed, carefully considered decisions.