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IFA firm targets home equity

An IFA firm has been set up specialising in the home equity-release market.

Preston-based Key Retirement Solutions, formerly Countrywide Retirement Solutions, has taken IFA status to give specialist advice to the retired marketplace.

The company believes the equity-release market is set for considerable growth and says homeowners are becoming increasingly equity-rich but cash-poor.

It says the average weekly disposable income for a retired household in 1994 was £170 compared with £224 last year.

Because of this small rise in income, Key says it is not surprising that 61 per cent of people over retirement age are classified as living in poverty or on low incomes.

Its research suggests that in the four years to 2000 from 1996, retired people have made an estimated £183bn as a result of increasing house prices and many could release this tied-up capital to enhance their income.

Key aims to become a leading niche player in the market. It is a member of the Financial Options network.

Managing director Colin Taylor says: “We believe the home equity market is worth a staggering £550bn but many retired people are some of the poorest in the country.

“The answer for many is equity release and we believe this message is getting through. With our network of IFAs offering impartial advice, we are confident that we can make a real impact in this market.”

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