FAQs

Below are answers to our most frequently asked questions. If you can't find your answer here, you can contact us.

General Questions

There are many benefits of using Smooth Retirement including:

  • Specialist retirement income and funding advice that allows you to fully understand and take control of your financial situation in the short and long term.
  • Peace of mind and the ability to look forward and plan how you will provide for all of your retirement years.
  • Access to funds at a time when you need it the most and when you are unlikely to qualify for any other loan.
  • Ability to refinance an existing mortgage or other debt(s), so you can use all of your available retirement income to live better and not to repay debt.
  • An alternative to downsizing so you can stay in your home for as long as you choose and sell only when you are ready to.
  • Ability to set aside funding for inheritances or aged care – well ahead of time.
  • More options and greater choices to meet your retirement goals.

We are proudly a fee for service business – so you know from the outset all the costs you’ll have to pay should you decide to sign up with us. Our total fees and charges are as follows:

  • One-off, upfront onboarding fee of $3,300 (including GST)
  • Annual subscription of $330.00 (including GST) or $27.50 per month

Smooth Retirement is wholly independent, fully regulated and 100% committed to acting in your best interests. We are proudly a fee for service business and not aligned to any lenders or banks. We do not accept commissions for the advice and recommendations we provide to you. Any commissions we may get paid by a lender or equity releaser, we refund in full back to you. The privacy and security of your personal information is of vital importance to us and is handled, stored and protected by us in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), Australian Privacy Principles and General Data Protection Regulation. To find out more, click here.

With the right advice, there may be no impact to your age pension entitlements. Our financial modelling can also ensure that you are receiving the right amount of age pension and some recommended solutions may even enhance your payments.

All about reverse mortgages

A reverse mortgage is a loan designed specifically for seniors who own, or mostly own, their own homes. Unlike other types of loans, there are no regular repayments. You retain ownership of your home and remain living in it. The debt is repaid from the future sale of the home, generally when downsizing later in retirement or making the move into aged care.

If you are over the age of 60, own (or largely own) your own home and live in a major Australian city or large regional centre, you have already met some of the main eligibility criteria.

A reverse mortgage is the most popular type of equity release product available in Australia. There are other types of equity release products on the market – sometimes called home reversion products. Both types of products allow you to release some of the wealth contained in your home but there are some key differences.

Reverse mortgages allow you to borrow funds against the value of your home. Unlike other types of loans, there are no regular repayments. The loan is repaid from the future sale of the property, generally when you downsize later in retirement or move into aged care. Importantly, you retain ownership of your home and remain living in it.

Equity release products are not loans. Rather, they are part-sale property transactions. Instead of borrowing against the value of the home, you agree to sell a portion of your home in exchange for lump sum capital. As with reverse mortgages, you continue to own your home and remain living in it but don’t have any interest capitalising on the debt.

In addition to our fees, there are other costs associated with taking out a reverse mortgage that must be paid by you should you decide to proceed. See below:

  1. Loan establishment fee, paid to the lender (this can range between $395 and 1.5% of an approved loan amount i.e. $1,500 for a $100,000 facility)
  2. Legal advice - a lawyer’s sign off is required by the lender (this can range between $200 and $800)
  3. Government costs associated with the lender registering its interest in the property that is offered by the client as security for the loan or its interest in the property (approx. $200)
  4. Valuation costs (may be required by the lender) (typically between $200 and $600 or more if the property is over $2M)
  5. Some lenders may charge an annual fee of around $80

Note: Smooth Retirement distributes loan products on behalf of lenders and there may be an initial and then subsequent loan term(s), such as 10 years for a regular (monthly) advance. If the loan is to be renewed, i.e. for a further term of 10 years, the lender(s) may require a valuation on the security property, which may come at a cost to the client.

About Equity Release

Sometimes called home reversion products, equity release products provide funding while allowing you to remain debt free. Unlike reverse mortgages, equity release products are not loans. They are part-sale property transaction.

Instead of borrowing against the value of the home, you can agree to sell a portion of your home in exchange for lump sum capital now. This has advantages in that there is no capitalising interest and you continue to own your own home and remain living in it with no obligation to sell until you choose. Other terms and conditions apply and it is our job to ensure that our clients understand all of the details about the option that we recommend.

A home reversion product is another name for equity release. These are part-sale property transactions designed to provide seniors with debt-free funding in retirement.

Instead of borrowing against the value of your home, you can agree to sell a portion of your home in exchange for lump sum capital. This has advantages in that there is no capitalising interest and you continue to own your own home and remain living in it. Other terms and conditions apply and it is our job to ensure that our clients understand all of the details about the option that we recommend.

In addition to our fees, there are other costs associated with taking out an equity release facility. These vary from product to product but may include:

  • Application / one-off documentation fees (from $700 to $1,800 est)
  • Service fees – a percentage of the total lump sum amount  (up to 5.4% est)
  • Legal advice fees, which vary from state-to-state ($200 to $800 est)
  • Government charges (property searches, registration fees) (up to $200 est)
  • Termination fees / break cost (up to $2000 est)

Interested in learning more?

Smooth Retirement is available NOW nationwide with special lifetime discounts being offered until July 2019.
© Smooth Retirement Pty Ltd
AFSL and Australian Credit Licence # 510015
ABN 46 619 010 445
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