Home equity is the current market value of your home, less any outstanding debts you may have against it (e.g. mortgage). Equity release refers to the different ways you may be able to access some of this equity so that you can improve your retirement lifestyle now, while continuing to live in your home and without having to sell it. The products are typically available to those aged over 60.
The method of obtaining the funds, the features, benefits and risks of the various products and schemes can be quite varied and complex. You should always seek financial advice before entering into an arrangement.
Selling the family home, moving to a cheaper property and using the difference to improve your retirement lifestyle is often the first thing that comes to mind when considering how to access some of your home equity.