An estimated 6% of over-55s are considering equity release as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to SunLife.

SunLife outlined that as a result of the pandemic, people are more likely to feel that their money is there to be spent.

Conversely, some are struggling financially and are realising equity release could offer them a cash injection.

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SunLife’s 2020 equity release report outlines the main reasons for turning to equity release as wanting to fund things people have always wanted to do or as a way of boosting falling incomes, pensions or savings.

Simon Stanney, equity release director at Sunlife, said: “Our research shows that COVID-19 has impacted people’s approach to money.

“Some have been forced into looking for ways to boost falling incomes or pensions, or into helping others who are struggling, while for others it has been a wakeup call, making them realise they can’t take their money with them, so they may as well spend it now.”

“Earlier in the crisis, we saw a shift in the reasons why people were enquiring about equity release, from ‘enhancing’ their own lives towards ‘gifting’ i.e. looking to release cash to help family members who had been hit by the crisis, so I am not surprised to see there has been a shift in consideration too.”