A recent survey from My Future Living, the UK’s leading retirement rental brand, reveals that many retirees are turning to downsizing and renting as a practical solution to address their financial concerns and enhance their retirement lifestyle.
The research, conducted amongst a diverse group of people aged 55 and above living in retirement developments through My Future Living, showed that almost a quarter (23%) said that moving to their current home had improved their finances.
Almost a third had been homeowners prior to moving to a retirement development, with 41% having sold to have more money for living expenses in retirement. Having the security of an assured tenancy was the top reason they decided to rent rather than buy, followed by affordability and not having to worry about maintenance, upkeep and repairs.
The survey also highlighted the rising cost of living was the biggest worry for 29% of retirees, followed by their health and funding their retirement years. This comes as a new survey from Age UK[i] found that almost a third of over 60s – equivalent to 4.2 million people – have recently cut back on food or groceries due to the cost of living, rising to 40% of people aged 60+ living in a household with an income of £20k or lower.
Dominic Stead, Property Director at My Future Living, said, “Retirement should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment, free from financial worries. Our survey reveals that downsizing and renting in retirement can be a positive move that can boost people’s finances and is often a more affordable option than buying a smaller home. With renting people don’t face unexpected maintenance and repair bills, there is no stamp duty to pay and the money that was sat in bricks and mortar can be used to enable people to enjoy a comfortable retirement.
“Assured tenancies are often the icing on the cake for those that may have previously ruled out renting. It means people only have to move once and don’t have to fear being asked to leave by the landlord, as long as they stick to the terms of their lease. There are also other benefits such as the social side of living in a friendly retirement community that is also part of the appeal for many. With no end in sight to the cost of living crisis – downsizing and renting may be on the cards for more people next year as a way to fund a better retirement.”
When Trevor Worrell aged 67 years downsized to a one-bedroom flat in retirement development Marlowe Lodge in Croydon through My Future Living he finally found a community where he belonged.
After taking early retirement aged 40 from his job as a technician officer for London Underground, Trevor lived in Clapham for many years so he could be close to his father and look after him.
Originally from St Andrew in Barbados, Trevor enjoyed living in Clapham as it was an easy commute to his job. However, after 30 years, he felt it was time to slow life down and move to a smaller place which didn’t need so much maintenance and made the tough decision to relocate and rent an apartment in a retirement development in Croydon. Being within an easy distance to Gatwick airport was important as he used to travel a lot to see family and friends in Barbados.
Trevor comments: “I don’t travel so much now since Covid-19, but I am so happy here it suits me well. There are over twenty of us at the development and we all know each other very well, which means there’s always a friendly face around and I feel like we’ve got our very own little community.”
During the summer, the residents of Marlowe Lodge get together in beautifully landscaped gardens for drinks and use the lawn for games of croquet. As a single man, Trevor enjoys the company of the other residents. He says, “There’s always something going on and I never feel like I live here on my own. We have film night and fish and chip night in the communal lounge every Friday.”
Trevor enjoys the benefits of an assured tenancy through My Future Living which gives him peace of mind as he has protection from eviction and can stay in his home for as long as he wishes (providing he sticks to the terms of his tenancy). Plus the freedom to give the required notice and leave at any time if he wants to.
Trevor says he’s got everything he needs nearby: “There’s a doctor’s surgery next door, a barbers two doors down and the local supermarket is just opposite. I don’t need to venture far but there’s a bus stop close by which is handy when I want to go out for the day and visit my social club in Clapham, where I am still a member.”
Trevor adds: “I don’t have any plans to leave Marlowe Lodge as I feel happy and settled. This place ticks every box for me plus I feel like I have my friends around men and the communal lounge is a lovely welcoming place to sit and chat to whoever is passing. “
To find out more about renting a home in a retirement development visit: www.myfutureliving.co.uk