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Over-55s open to downsizing

Over a third (36%) of over-55s are planning to downsize in retirement, a survey from Nationwide has revealed.

More than half (56%) say this is because a smaller property would be easier for them to manage or get around in in old age.

Jamie Turnbull, business director at Girlings Retirement Rentals, said: “This survey reflects our experience and we are finding that more people want to downsize when they retire. We are also seeing more people opting to rent in a specialist retirement development instead of buying when they downsize.

“The main reasons are freeing up capital in their home, no longer having to look after the maintenance and upkeep of a home and also avoiding stamp duty costs. It’s interesting that the survey also highlighted that those that want to remain in their home have not really considered how they will manage as they get older.

“Moving to age appropriate housing should be on people’s horizons as they get older and there are benefits to doing it sooner rather than later, including being fit and able to cope with a move.”

The survey also revealed that while many want to stay in their home for the long term, 47% don’t know or haven’t thought about how they will cope with their home in old age and around a quarter (24%) would also consider using equity release to allow them to stay in their current homes.