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New research conducted by Retirement Homesearch has revealed a gap between the age people imagine they will downsize and the reality, with data showing that the age UK adults expect to downsize or move into a specialist retirement property increases as they get older.
Whilst the UK’s younger generation sees themselves moving into a retirement property at the mean age of 65, Briton’s aged between 55-64 year-olds say this won’t happen until they’re 70 with only 6% of over 65s surveyed having already downsized or moved to a specialist home.
The top reasons given for this inertia were finding the right property (48%), having to get rid of excess belongings (36%) and the emotional strain of leaving a family home (34%). Those surveyed were also asked what their most important factors were when choosing a new home to downsize to which showed that being close to family and amenities was the top reason (40%), with an easy to run, modern apartment as second (27%).
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Significant increase in older people living alone, but millions are failing to adapt their homes to help them live independently
- Growing numbers of 45-64 year olds, and 65-74 year olds are living alone, with 6 million people living in houses with two or more excess bedrooms.
- Think Tank urges government action on supply whilst also calling for more support to encourage people to adapt their own homes.
- New analysis for ‘The State of the Nation’s Housing’ projects a shortage of 160,000 retirement housing by 2030.
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Bigger isn’t always better
We must support – not shame – older homeowners into downsizing, says Nick Freeth
Retirement downsizing has moved up the property market agenda in the past few weeks, following the recent, controversial comments from Lynda Blackwell, head of mortgages at the Financial Conduct Authority. Lynda believes that the Government should do more to encourage older homeowners “sitting happily in big houses” to downsize and free up family homes, alleviating the current UK housing crisis.
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Nick Freeth, Managing Director of Retirement Homesearch, the UK’s largest specialist retirement property agents, gives his thoughts and tips on how best to downsize. As the UK faces a housing crisis, this could be helped if more retirees downsized into a home suited to their needs.
The first step to downsizing your family home however, is to get the emotions right. Look upon “downsizing” as an exciting opportunity, a beginning to a new phase of your life, not negative one. Moving to a smaller, easier to maintain property will not only free up your time, but also has many positive financial impacts.