Birthdays with noughts on the end are often a time for contemplation as we look back with nostalgia and forward with nervous anticipation to the next phase in our lives. Passing the big 5-0 though is particularly significant. The kids will be leaving home soon, retirement may well be on the horizon, and with the prospect of more leisure time comes the question of what you are going to do with it and – equally important – how you will fund it.
For a huge number of over-50s, the answer to the ‘what’ question is travel. You’ve brought up the family, done your bit on the work front, and now it’s time to get out and experience all those places you’ve dreamed about. Maybe you’re celebrating a special anniversary, a birthday ending in 0, or simply starting a new chapter in life.
But then there’s the question of ‘how’. Silver travellers often joke about spending the kids’ inheritance, and many of us do just that, whilst still keeping a respectable amount for our children. But there is another way. Release money from your home with equity release and all those holiday dreams could come true.
You may already be browsing the cruise websites or planning the long-haul trip you never had time for. The Silver Travel Advisor website is packed with inspiration and offers. If you’ve not already registered your email address, sign up for our monthly newsletter of special deals from a huge range of specialist companies.
For many silver travellers, cruising is an attractive option – the chance to visit a variety of destination but only having to unpack once. If you’re a cruise virgin, take time to think about exactly what you want – there are so many different styles and sizes of ship on offer, whether you opt for the constant scenery of a river cruise or the big ship amenities of an ocean voyage.
Walking away from the workplace for the final time can be an emotional as well as an exciting time. So it’s the perfect time to take that big holiday, visiting friends and family on the other side of the world, or maybe taking a road trip across America, or round Australia and New Zealand.
But not everybody wants to visit exotic destinations. For others, time on their hands presents the opportunity to take regular short breaks. Make a list of all those tempting European cities you’ve always wanted to go to. Never seen the Acropolis or the Colosseum? Always fancied the opera in Verona or a day at the races in Longchamp? Now’s the time.
And how well do you know your own country? Most of us have big gaps in our UK geography, but a series of short breaks can help you discover our own history, heritage and scenery. Travel a couple of hours in any direction, and you can be amongst completely different scenery.
Freeing up cash is also the perfect option for holidaymakers who just want to put down roots in their favourite destination. A little bolthole at the British seaside perhaps that all the family can share; a gleaming white villa by the Mediterranean; or a quaint cottage in an idyllic French village. A holiday home is somewhere to build family memories with your children and grandchildren.
Whatever your style of dream holiday, equity release can make it possible. See how it could work for you by using the equity release calculator at www.sunlife.co.uk/equity-release/equity-release-calculator. You might be surprised just how far you could go!
Remember that equity release is a big decision. You should consider it carefully, talk to your family and seek specialist advice before making any decisions. If you release equity, you are required to pay off any existing mortgage and/or secured debt first.