Jane and John are in their 80s and own a three bed-house in Yeovil.

They have small, but adequate, pensions.

However, their savings have gradually reduced during their retirement.

John and Jane came to see us as they were considering an equity release mortgage.

Jane's mobility has been affected by an illness.

John and Jane would like to fit a stair-lift and adapt the bathroom to include a more user friendly suite.

They also want to install new flooring that will make moving Jane's wheelchair a bit easier.

John and Jane make frequent visits to their daughter who lives with her family in Devon.

They often stay over and a bit more capital would help with the travel and hotel costs.

Their grandchildren often come to visit them as well and they want a bit more money to be able to go out and treat them.

We asked whether they had thought about moving closer to their daughter. Jane and John said that a move would make life a lot easier.

They had made enquiries but bungalows near their daughter cost more than their house.

They thought they would not be able to get a mortgage at their age, and their daughter does not have enough cash to help bridge the gap.

The current state of the mainstream mortgage market means it is difficult for people at or near retirement to obtain a mortgage if they wish to move home.

However, there are lots of reasons why people in their sixties , seventies or even older may wish to relocate:

• To be nearer their children to receive or provide care and support.

• To live in a property that is adapted, or purpose built, for people with restricted mobility.

• To live closer to essential services or in a countryside or coastal location .

Ideally these moves would be achieved by "downsizing" but in many instances the funds from a sale will not cover the purchase price, stamp duty, agent's fees and legal costs.

High Street lenders seem reluctant to lend to older people despite stable and sufficient retirement pension incomes.

Even if they did lend, the cost of a traditional mortgage would put a move out of reach for most people.

Equity Release, or more accurately Lifetime Mortgages, can be used to fill the gap. Recently, this market has seen innovation, rate competition and increased repayment flexibility.

This form of mortgage can offer solutions beyond the simple release of cash.

However, it is still a specialised area and you should always seek specialist advice before borrowing on the strength of your home.

We chatted some more with Jane and John about what a move might mean.

They had really explored the effect of a move before giving up on the idea and knew that their household bills would be much lower if they moved to Devon.

We explained that they may be able to use a Lifetime Mortgage to fund the move to Devon.

John and Jane visited a financial adviser and found that they were able to obtain a mortgage to purchase a new bungalow that was quite a bit more expensive than their home in Yeovil.

The bungalow had been purpose built with reduced mobility in mind and was far better suited to Jane's needs.

They also released enough money to meet the move costs.

They also found that as their travel and household bills had reduced they were able to see their grandchildren more often and to enjoy more outings with them.