When you reach retirement age, you face a number of key decisions about how you want to approach this new era in your life. One choice you’ll need to consider is whether you wish to continue living in your current home or look at some of the other options available.
Downsizing is an increasingly popular option for retirees: almost half of the UK’s pensioners considering a move to a smaller home, according to McCarthy & Stone’s Retirement Confidence Index 2017. However, it’s important to know that there are plenty of ways of downsizing that can enhance your retirement and help you enjoy a better quality of life, rather than limit it.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of five popular options that can help you downsize successfully in your retirement. Read on to find out more.
Buying a park home
Are you interested in moving to the country or becoming part of a like-minded community? Then buying a park home could be the perfect option for your retirement.
A park home is a bungalow-style home that is manufactured and then transported to a private park, allowing for a peaceful and secure lifestyle. Becoming a resident of one of these parks will allow you to move to a country setting without the larger costs of buying a bricks and mortar property. Many park home communities are for retirees only, as well as providing a rich and fulfilling social life.
Should park home living appeal to you, GoldShield’s guide to buying a park home is essential reading to get acquainted with the purchasing process and what type of home will be right for you.
Remaining on the property ladder
Though some people see downsizing in retirement as an opportunity to get off the property ladder, many prefer the security that owning their own home can offer.
The thinking behind this move is simple: you sell your larger family home, then purchase a smaller property more suited to your lifestyle. Doing so can leave you with money to spare, which you can invest or save to make your retirement more comfortable.
Before you commit to such a decision, it’s important to make sure that the move you’re planning will be financially beneficial, as there are costs to buying and selling your home, like agents’ fees, legal fees, stamp duty, and removal costs. Rightmove’s moving cost calculator can help you estimate these amounts depending on the area you wish to move to.
Renting a property
For some people, taking the plunge and buying a new property can be too much of a risk upfront, especially if it involves moving to a new area or a much smaller home.
Renting can be an attractive option if you’d like to downsize without making a huge commitment straight away, allowing you to try out living in a small property or new community. Once you’ve got to grips with your new lifestyle, you can then choose to invest in your own property or continue to rent if the arrangement suits you. It can also be popular if you don’t want to invest all of the funds you’ve gained from selling your family home into another property.
Finding a property in the sun is still a dream for many retirees in the UK, despite the looming impact of Brexit. However, despite the fall in value of the pound, Europe hasn’t been doing too well itself over the past few years, which has helped to cushion the blow and preserve the value for money Brits could find on the continent. Considering this, retiring to Europe is still an achievable goal.
If you are thinking of downsizing abroad, there are still a lot of things you need to consider. You need to make sure that you do a lot of research into your chosen country, as there will likely be a lot of paperwork to complete if you wish to buy a property. You’ll also need to sort out your state pension and tax before moving — see the government’s advice on what you’ll need to do.
Another option to consider for downsizing is moving to a retirement community, where you will be able to live with other like-minded retirees in an environment where all of your essential amenities will be provided. These are a great option if you still want to live independently, but be able to socialise with others if you wish, as well as having all you need right on your doorstep.
A retirement community is a good choice if you aren’t as mobile as you used to be, or you’ve suffered from ill-health. Many sites have benefits like support staff on-hand, emergency help alarm systems, and easy access buildings. You’ll also have the sense of security that living in a monitored community can provide.
If you are thinking about downsizing your home for retirement, it’s worth considering these five options. As you can see, there is plenty of choice available, so you can choose the living arrangement that suits your needs.