New Equity Release Lender More2Life Launches New Products

Signs that the equity release market is beginning to spark into life again, can be evidenced by the re-emergence of a former lender in the market.

More2Life have joined forces with annuity specialist Partnership assurance to re-launch their impaired life roll-up lifetime mortgage plan.

Incorporating an impaired life facility & protected equity guarantee, the More2Life equity release plan can be seen to be opening a niche market for itself. The impaired life facility means that depending on health & lifestyle, a higher than normal tax free lump sum can be achieved, should serious health issues be present.

The More2Life equity release plan has been designed with three scenario’s in mind: -

1. Enhanced plus – industry leading maximum release, impaired life product

2. Enhanced protected – impaired life plan with ‘protected equity guarantee’

3. Protected plan – older applicants looking for a ‘protected equity guarantee’

Pitching the enhanced plus plan at the maximum release end of the market means that should the applicant qualify on medical grounds, they would have the highest lump sum currently available. This would even surpass the current Aviva Lump Sum Max product, although this would be at the expense of a higher interest rate with More2Life.

The following percentages are the maximum releases available on the Enhanced Plus: -

Age 55 23%

Age 60 28%

Age 65 33%

Age 70 38%

Age 80 48%

Age 90+ 54%

For example, an applicant aged 65 with a property valuation of £250,000 & meeting the underwriting criteria, can release a maximum of £82,500 on the enhanced plus plan.

The interest rate for this product will be 7.49% monthly.

The second product – ‘enhanced protected plan’ is also based on health & lifestyle grounds & again can provide an enhanced lump sum. However, to qualify for this equity release scheme the health situation will not be a serious as the enhanced plus. The interest rate for this plan is lower at 6.99% monthly.

Another feature of this plan is the ‘protected equity guarantee’ which is included & guarantees a percentage of the property for the children/beneficiaries on the eventual sale of the property.

The guarantee works as follows: -

Should the overall facility available be £80,000, yet only £40,000 is taken, then 50% of the final sale value will be protected on sale.

This can be an essential tool for applicants who wish to ensure that a guaranteed inheritance is passed onto their children.

The final option is the ‘protected plan’ which has no impaired life facility, but does include the protected equity guarantee. The interest rate is the same as the enhanced protected at 6.99% monthly.

In summary, depending on whether the maximum lump sum is being sourced, or one is looking to take equity release but still guaranteeing an inheritance for their children, then one of the three More2Life schemes can benefit.

Increase Productivity: Five Powerful Actions

How can you make the best use of your energy to increase productivity each day? Here are five actions that can increase productivity and leave energy to spare. They will also help you to achieve more balance between your work and personal life.The key to increased productivity is to focus on managing actions and energy rather than time. I am going to refer to time as energy because using time always involves energy expenditure. Investing your energy wisely will provide you with additional energy in return.1. Manage actions and priorities.Time management is action-management. Think of time as physical and mental energy that you expend through actions. The feeling of “no time” can arise from too many priorities or unclear priorities. Neglected self-care can also leave one feeling unable to complete necessary tasks. Begin your day knowing exactly what you intend to do. Outlining the day on paper each morning is a great action-management technique.What must you do before you can use your time-energy more efficiently?2. Keep skills sharpened.Keeping your skills sharpened will result in more productivity. A client complained that he did not have time to complete his college reading assignments. I soon learned that it took this student 10 minutes to read something that his 15-year old sister could read in 3 minutes! His problem was not time; it was the need to improve reading skills.”I don’t have time,” is a common phrase that we’ve all used without giving it much thought. But what does it really mean? Time excuses signal (1) other priorities, (2) the need for action management, (3) the need for organization, (4) the need for physical or mental energy, or (5) the need to sharpen a skill.Sharp skills allow completion of more actions with less effort. Sharpen fundamental skills frequently. Take courses that will keep you up to date with the latest information in your career. Routine skill sharpening in all aspects of life is a wise energy-management choice. Personal skills and career skills will often overlap, affecting productivity in both these areas.What skills could you sharpen that would create more time-energy and productivity?3. Focus purposefully.Feelings of time scarcity crop up when thoughts or actions do not pertain to the purpose at hand. Actions that are off purpose do not support one’s values or goals. Up goes stress; down goes productivity. Purposeful focus allows a sense of urgency without creating negative stress.Create daily reminders to check your focus and action-priorities. Many reminder services are available without cost. Establish firm boundaries to prevent energy-consuming distractions. Be assertive to maintain those boundaries.What distractions could you remove that would help to maintain a purposeful focus?4. Stay flexible and ask for help.Urgency is not inflexibility. Flexible plans allow for interruptions, schedule changes, and unforeseen events that you cannot control.Flexibility also allows you to accept help from others. Attempting to do everything alone can create an energy imbalance in both your personal life and career. Act on your strengths and ask for qualified help with those things you cannot handle alone.What thoughts or attitudes can you change to become more flexible, balanced, and productive?5. Act decisively.Act decisively on the commitments you make to your goals. All the pieces are rarely in place when starting something new. There will always be more to learn. Over-analysis and waiting for the perfect moment can obstruct a successful launch. Fears of either success or failure can hold you back.Acknowledge fears and look past them to see the rewards of your actions. Move through fear by the power of faith in your purpose. Build momentum and keep learning as you move forward.What could you accomplish if you made the commitment to begin today?An Exercise to Increase ProductivityBegin by writing each productivity tip on a sheet of paper. Under each one, write down ways you have used this or a similar idea in the past. What were the results, and what would you do differently this time?Keep these questions in mind also: “What shows up when I manage my actions appropriately? Where do I waste the most time-energy, and why? What is the payoff when I waste energy and perceive a lack of time? What has robbed me of productive energy in the past?”Increase ProductivityNext, you will be thinking of five ways you can become more productive. Write your best answer to the question at the end of each productivity tip. Then write down a way you could apply each of the five actions to your current situation.Keep these questions in mind also: “When I become as productive as I would like to be, what will be my reward? How could I increase my level of self-care to increase my productivity? What things need less attention and more attention in my life at this time?”The five actions in this article will require ongoing effort. The way you answer these questions will change over time. However, you will find the results worthwhile. Begin taking action now, and you will increase productivity with extra time-energy to spare.

Why an Integrated Workplace Safety and Wellness Program Is Best

Employees are a business’s most valuable asset and keeping them safe and healthy should be a priority for any company. Many businesses have a workplace safety program and a wellness program, but the two programs operate independently of one another – but should they? There are some compelling reasons to integrate the two so that employees can benefit from a more global, holistic approach to staying safe and healthy on the job.

To adequately address health and safety issues, companies need to look not only at whether an employee is performing their job safely but whether they’re healthy and fit enough to do their job without a high risk of injury. Issues like obesity, poor physical fitness and inadequate nutrition make it harder for employees to carry out certain tasks in the workplace.

The link between health and safety

According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, people who are obese are at higher risk for occupational health issues and injuries. When obese staff are exposed to chemicals on the job, they’re at higher risk for occupational asthma and heart and lung issues compared to a non-obese person. They’re also at greater risk for ergonomic issues and bio-mechanical problems including carpal tunnel syndrome. If companies focus on workplace safety without addressing the obesity issue, the bigger problem remains. A unified approach that integrates occupational safety measures with wellness initiatives that emphasize good nutrition and weight control provides a more effective solution to the problem.

There’s also the issue of back injuries. Back injuries are one of the most common workplace safety issues, and people who are overweight and physically unfit are at higher risk for injuring their back on the job. Most back injuries occur as a result of lifting objects at work and ergonomic issues. Although it’s not possible to prevent all work-related back problems, integrating wellness with safety by emphasizing regular exercise to strengthen muscles in the lower back can reduce back injuries. Integrating workplace safety and wellness offers a more well-rounded approach to preventing back injuries.

What part does wellness play in safety? Wellness programs that focus on stress reduction, smoking cessation and alcohol and drug-related issues are also important for workplace safety. According to a study published in a Canadian publication called The Daily, smokers are at greater risk for being injured at work compared to non-smokers. Among women, the risk was nearly double. Stress does more than just affect employees psychologically – it increases their risk of being injured on the job. Employees who are under stress at home or at work are distracted and less able to focus on doing their job safely. Integrating stress management into a workplace safety program can help reduce the number of injuries and motivate employees to be more productive. Nutrition is another factor that a workplace safety and wellness program should address. Employees who start their day with only a cup of coffee are more prone to blood sugar drops that can lead to workplace injuries. Good nutrition is an integral part of any safety program.

There’s another benefit of merging wellness and workplace safety. Employees are less likely to participate in programs that address workplace hazards than they are wellness programs that focus on personal benefits. Integrating the two makes it more likely that employees will take part.

The bottom line

Combining workplace safety with wellness has a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Most importantly, it helps to create a safer, healthier and more productive workplace – and that’s something every company should strive for.