United Kingdom – A recent report from McCarthy & Stone entitled, ‘Generation Stuck: Exploring the Reality of Downsizing in Later Life’, suggests that a lack of downsizing options for the over 55s is creating what they term, ‘Generation Stuck.’
The report highlighted that one in three (33%) of the UK’s homeowners aged 55 and over are considering or expecting to consider downsizing, however, they feel there is an inadequate supply of housing aimed at their age group.
The main reasons people want to downsize are financial, the desire to reduce maintenance in the home and to improve well-being and have social benefits.
Peter Girling, Chairman, Girlings Retirement Rentals, the market leader in retirement rental accommodation said: “We’re seeing growing numbers of over 55s wanting to downsize and many of our residents would agree that the financial benefits of downsizing and the desire to reduce home maintenance are key drivers behind their decision-making.
“However, there is a distinction between those that downsize to buy and those that choose to rent. Buying a retirement property still involves stamp duty costs and the on-going maintenance and upkeep costs. Renting avoids all these costs and retirees today can rent on assured tenancies and remain in their property for life should they choose – affording them a similar level of home security as home owners. ” adds Mr Girling.
Here are Girling’s top ten reasons for people to downsize in later life:
Releasing equity is often the number one reason people want to downsize. Selling a home enables the release of capital for investment or spending. It can help fund retirement living, be used to help family members with their finances or be spent on holidays and travelling.
- Reducing Maintenance Bills
The cost of fixing things that go wrong in the home is a big worry for many people as they get older. Many people also don’t want to spend their precious time doing DIY. Moving to a smaller property will reduce maintenance worries and costs. Many of our residents living in our retirement rental properties tell us they love the fact they don’t have to worry about maintenance as it’s all included in their monthly rent.
A rental Property for Life
Many retirees don’t realise they can downsize and rent on assured tenancies, allowing them to remain in their properties for life. For most people, this is the biggest attraction of renting in retirement.
- Reducing Bills and Housework
Smaller homes may reduce your carbon footprint and also reduce your outgoings – lowering utility bills, council tax and repairs or maintenance! Bearing in mind physical chores become more difficult to complete as people get older, downsizing to a smaller property may reduce house work. Cleaning, furnishing, maintenance, home upkeep and the cost of it all can lead to stress and reduce the amount of free time for leisure and spending time with family!
- A home Fit for Retirement
As people age, they often need a property more appropriate for their physical needs. Most retirement developments have lifts, so people don’t have to struggle with stairs, and there is access in bathrooms for personal care if needed. For extra peace of mind there is usually an on-site manager available on weekdays and 24-hour emergency assistance too.
A Better Social Life
According to Age UK more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
Loneliness doesn’t need to be an issue in a retirement development where there is usually some kind of social event going on – from coffee mornings to fish and chip suppers. The communal lounge and gardens also provide many opportunities for residents to meet and socialise.
Downsizing and moving to a new area in retirement can give people a new lease of life. Many people dream of living by the sea, whilst others prefer the convenience of city centre living – we have options for everyone.
Homes to Suit All Budgets
Renting in retirement doesn’t mean having to pay a fortune in rent as there are plenty of properties starting from as little as £525 per month. Equally for those that are seeking something luxurious our Diamond Collection is an exclusive range of properties with a ‘Club House’ feel, aimed at people over 60 years of age who want to trade in their home for rented luxury living.
Lock Up and Leave
Many of our residents enjoy the fact they can travel abroad or in the UK and simply lock up and leave their apartment, safe in the knowledge their homes are totally secure and that a development manager is on site to check everything is ok.
Fixed Monthly Costs Help People Budget
The monthly rent covers services and property maintenance, including the upkeep and cleaning of common areas, the upkeep of the external areas, including gardens, external window cleaning; lift maintenance; insurance of the building and in many cases the cost of water is also included. This helps people budget how much money they have to pay each month without any big surprises.