Consumer Research Findings

In this section you will find the key findings that emerged from the largest ever UK consumer research study into usage and attitudes towards housing equity withdrawal and equity release.

There is resentment at the prospect of having to sell the family home to fund long-term care.

People are disappointed to discover how little income they are likely to receive from their pension savings.

A significant number of people wish to explore how they may top-up their retirement income by accessing the value in their homes to support an acceptable retirement.

People approaching retirement are less inclined to make sacrifices to leave money to the next generation.

In the run up to retirement, peoples expectations of income levels are unrealistic.

Consumers want reassurance from the government that equity release is a regulated and safe product.

If people release equity from the home, they would not consider it appropriate to use it to pay for frivolous or extravagant purchases. It should be used responsibly to boost income or pay for essential items.

People want certainty about where the balance of responsibility lies between the individual and the state. The most obvious example here relates to the contribution they will have to make towards any future long-term care costs.

Consumers are willing to use the equity in their homes to support their retirement but there is reluctance to use equity release. This is partly built on misconceptions about how the product works.

Downsizing is seen as a more acceptable method of releasing equity for many people (though a significant number of people want to remain in the family home).