Planning for retirement is a minefield, not least when it comes to deciding what to do about your property situation.
We know from the many anecdotal stories we hear in our villages that many people continue as they are for many, many years, putting off any major decisions often until a life-changing episode means they are forced to face up to it.
Making a choice about your next and possibly final property move should be an empowering experience, something to be welcomed and enjoyed – after all, it could potentially open up another exciting chapter in your life.
Embrace and consider all options
Whether you embark on the house move process alone or with a loved one, or younger family members, or even friends, it’s crucial you consider all of your options:
– where do I want to live?
– what size and type of property will I need in the years to come?
– what sort of neighbours do I want?
– do I want to live in the middle of nowhere or have people around me?
– do I still want to own my property and have equity tied up?
– could I rent and keep my options flexible?
– how about buying a second home overseas?
– or is now the time to give up that second home in the sun?
After a lifetime of property ownership, in some cases, spent in the same property, leaving the family home itself is a big enough wrench without the thought of facing all of these questions.
If you’ve read our recent blogs, in fact a lot of our marketing material over the summer, you will see that we are heavily promoting our Try before you Buy scheme.
Like the Sniders (pictured left) we would highly recommend using this type of scheme to test drive the property but also this type of lifestyle.
It should be one of many actions on your ‘to do’ list before deciding on how you want your future to map out. Take a leaf out of the book of many of the village residents I speak to and be in control of your destiny rather than letting it control you. Set a path for your later years that best suits you and your needs as they potentially may change.
It is a way of allowing people to try this particular type of retirement lifestyle before taking the plunge or leaping into something they may later regret.
There are no tricks, no obligations, no hidden agendas, this is purely a chance to try out a different option for your future, just as Pat and Malcolm Sniders did last winter at our Lime Tree Village in Warwickshire.
Considering renting property in retirement
For some people this could be renting your retirement home, leaving you with the flexibility to change and move on much more easily. Margaret Wyatt has done just this at our Avonpark Village for instance.
Renting is becoming an increasingly popular choice in later life. In the last four years the number of people living in private rented accommodation in retirement has soared to more than 220,000 according to the National Landlords Association (NLA), with many preferring to downsize and not take on a mortgage.
Retirement – home and away
If you have properties in both the UK and overseas you may not want to give these up, even as the years move on and travelling isn’t quite as spontaneous as it used to be. Escaping to a bolthole in the sun sounds like a dream that should be enjoyed and maintained for as long as possible, in my eyes!
A retirement home in the UK which makes a ‘lock up and leave’ lifestyle relatively easy to have, could be part of your consideration on your retirement home search list.
Pat Hodson (pictured right) at Roseland Parc in Cornwall doesn’t have a property abroad but she does enjoy getting away on cruises on a regular basis so needed a retirement home she knew would be safe and secure to leave behind.
I think what I’m trying to share with you here, is the many varied options available to you to demonstrate that you don’t need to settle for the most obvious or expected course of action. Make your property move work exactly for you and the lifestyle you would truly like to lead in the years ahead.
Cover all options – do your research , check out online websites for your age group, talk to other retirees, seek professional and financial advice (if appropriate), ask yourself all the necessary questions, and, if you think it would help, try out any possibilities available, such as Try before you Buy schemes, before you make your final choice.
Don’t live regretting you’ve made the wrong decision. The number of times I hear residents say that they are enjoying some of the best years of their lives gives me a real buzz and is exactly how it should be for everyone of this generation where at all possible.