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Home improvement most common reason for equity release

Funding obtained through equity release is most likely to be used for home improvements, it has been revealed. According to a poll conducted by Norwich Union close to a third (29 per cent) of respondents said they planned to use the cash to make improvements to their home. Other popular reasons cited by those polled were using the money to improve their general standard of living (27 per cent) and lavishing gifts on friends and family (12 per cent). However, a significant number said they had released equity to pay off debts they had accumulated, a finding that according to Dominic Fraser-Smith, a group manager for Norwich Union, shows the increasing incidence of retirees struggling to meet living expenses. He said: "The research also backs up suggestions that more and more people are struggling with debts in their retirement, with one in 10 equity release customers using the funds to pay off outstanding finances. "This then highlights the need to rethink traditional retirement planning options, as many can no longer rely solely on the traditional pension pot for their later years."

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