Deciding to downsize your home is not an easy decision to make. Moving home can be stressful, especially when leaving behind a home full of memories and sentiment. However, the benefits of downsizing are clear in terms of freeing up cash, time and creating peace of mind for the older generation and their loved ones, it’s just a big decision that is often delayed for as long as possible.
Recent research undertaken by Retirement Homesearch of 2,000 nationally representative UK adults found that there is a gap between when people imagine they will downsize and when they actually do:
• The younger generation see themselves moving into a smaller property at the age of around 65
• 55 to 64 year olds see themselves downsizing at around 70 years old.
• Those over 65 do not expect to downsize until they are 76.
What’s more is that only 6% of those over 65 surveyed have actually downsized or moved into a specialist home.
So why are people not moving earlier?
Amongst the UK adults surveyed, the top barriers when deciding to downsize your home are: finding the right property at 48%, having to get rid of excess belongings at 36% and the emotional strain of leaving their home at 34%. This demonstrates that a decision based on practically for some is often entrenched with sentiment for others. Nick Freeth, Managing Director at Retirement Homesearch says: “What the data shows is that navigating through the retirement property market to find a home that is right for you is difficult, especially when added on top of the stress that moving property already brings.”
See also: Searching For a Retirement Property
When downsizing, what are the most important factors?
We also asked what the most important factors are when choosing a home to downsize to or when moving to a specialist retirement property. These factors also appeared to vary with age. Whilst having an easy-to-run, modern apartment was important for those aged 65+ at 34%, this was less crucial for 18-24 year-olds at only 21%, showing the shift of priorities as we get older.
Top factors to consider before downsizing:
1. Being close to family /amenities (both at 40%)
2. An easy-to-run, modern apartment (27%)
3. Being close to friends (21%)
We must incentivise the older generation to make the downsizing leap, and make it as straightforward as possible for them. Whether this be building more specialist retirement properties in desirable areas with the right facilities, or perhaps making it easier for this group to find and sell their properties. Such efforts could have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the older generation, as well as the UK housing market and economy in general.
See also: Preparing For Moving Day
Retirement Homesearch is the UK’s number one retirement property specialist and for the past 30 years have aided thousands of customers selling or searching for a retirement property. To find out more about Retirement Homesearch and the services they provide visit their website: retirementhomesearch.co.uk
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