Why more people want to downsize when they retire

Posted on: 01 April 2019 by Gillian Girling

How rental could be the alternative to spending retirement rattling around in a large home and having the worry and expense of its upkeep.

older property means maintenance costs

Retirement often gives people a new lease of life and the chance to spend time doing things they’ve always wanted to such as travelling, hobbies and seeing more of their family.

It’s also a time when most people have paid off their mortgage, the children have left home and they may be considering moving somewhere new to enjoy their new found freedom.

Last year a nationwide survey from equity release adviser, Key[i] highlighted that estate agents have seen a surge in inquiries about downsizing from retired homeowners with 1.4 million over-65s saying they will consider downsizing in the next five years.

They say that the need to save money was the biggest reason for selling, followed by the desire for a more manageable home, moving to a more suitable retirement area and boosting retirement income.

We’ve certainly found there’s growing interest in downsizing and also in renting in specialist retirement developments like the ones we offer, rather than just buying again.

Many of the reasons our tenants wanted to downsize are similar to what Key found, with releasing capital in their home to help fund retirement and moving to a smaller more manageable home high on their agenda.

Our residents also point out that they really enjoy the social side of living in a retirement community. For both single people and couples alike having likeminded people of similar ages on their door step really improves their social life.

Most of our developments have communal lounges and gardens in which people can enjoy a natter over a cup of tea and some even organise days out, activities and events. Social interaction is essential for health and wellbeing and to avoid loneliness.

This is especially important as we age as often we find our social circle shrinks when we don’t have access to work networks any longer or friends are no longer around.

Another key benefit is that, whilst living in a retirement development is all about independent living, there are services available such as a 24 hour emergency call line in each apartment in case of emergencies, plus a manager is on site to deal with any issues.

This is really reassuring for people as they get older. In fact people get the best of both worlds – living independently but knowing there are people around them and services should they ever need them.

One of the great things too is that people can move to a new area and try it out by renting instead of committing to buying. Often some of the more popular retirement locations such as resorts on the south coast are expensive, so renting is an affordable option that enables people to move.

We expect downsizing will become more popular in the future. Why spend retirement rattling around in a large home and having the worry and expense of its upkeep, when there are options such as renting in a retirement development that allow you to just get on with living and enjoying yourself?

[i] https://www.keyadvice.co.uk/about/press-release/retireed-downsizers-struggling-to-sell-homes-estat

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