25 May 2024

Improve your finances by downsizing to a retirement community

23 April 2024 – As retirees across the UK struggle with declining real income, My Future Living, the UK’s leading retirement rentals brand, highlights how downsizing this Spring could lead to significant savings and provide a chance to declutter.

Following the Spring 2024 budget, analysis from the Resolution Foundation showed pensioners are the biggest losers amid falling living standards and stagnating growth and face a collective hit of £8 billion[i].  A new report from the Centre for Ageing Better[ii], also highlighted that the budget will deepen the financial strife of some pensioners.

 

Dominic Stead, Property Director at My Future Living said one solution for older people navigating financial uncertainties and rising costs is to downsize to a retirement community.

Dominic said: “We are seeing growing numbers choosing to downsize to an apartment in a retirement community, especially since the start of the cost-of-living crisis. It can be a good financial option because it allows people to free up capital from the sale of a home and rent and achieve a better standard of living.

“If they opt to rent in a retirement community, they will no longer have to worry about the upkeep of a home or face unexpected maintenance bills as these services are included in the monthly rent. Living in a smaller space also means reduced bills, plus budgeting becomes easier as people know what costs to expect.”

“Downsizing can also symbolise a fresh start—a chance to declutter a lifetime of possessions and embrace stress free living. As spring unfolds, we encourage those considering a move to take advantage of better weather and longer days to find their perfect retirement home,” concludes Stead.

 

One couple that seized the moment is Paul Jones, a 68-year-old retired landscape gardener and his wife Lindsey, a 63-year-old part-time nurse, who moved from their home in Exeter to a one-bedroom retirement apartment at Hometor House in Exmouth, which has brought significant financial benefits.

Facing spiralling rent and the ever-growing burden and cost of maintaining their spacious Victorian house with its large garden, they realised something had to change.

 

Paul explains: “The cost-of-living crisis was pushing our rent up, and the house upkeep was getting too much, especially after I had Covid-19 which has left me with weaker lungs. We decided it was time to downsize and find a home that was cheaper and easier to manage.

“Our new apartment is much cheaper to run. It is highly insulated which means it scores high on energy efficiency. We have really noticed this in our bills, and keeping these as low as possible is important when you have retired.

“An unexpected benefit was the saving on the car insurance too. Because the car is now parked in a gated, private car park instead of a busy road the insurance company reduced our premiums.”

 

Paul and Lindsey rent on an assured ‘lifetime’ tenancy, so never have to move again providing they keep up with the terms of their tenancy agreement. Also, their annual rent increases are low and linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

 

Paul said: “Before we moved Lindsey had started to worry about how much our rent kept going up. Now, not only do we benefit from a lower rent due to downsizing, but we know what to expect in terms of increases. The assured tenancy gives us extra peace of mind too. As we get older, we do not want the stress of knowing we might have to move again.”

 

Downsizing was not just about finances; it has also unlocked a vibrant community. As Lindsey still works, Paul has embraced their new social life. Paul said: “Being part of this community is great. We have tea parties and bingo nights and enjoyed a Christmas dinner dance. Also, we often go on the coach trips when Lindsey is off work. These activities helped us to settle into the community well.”

Paul concludes: “We love our new life, the community, and the freedom it brings. Do not be afraid to downsize – the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Plan your move, let go of what you do not need, and enjoy a worry-free life in a welcoming retirement community.”

 

For more information about My Future Living, please visit www.myfutureliving.co.uk.

[i] https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/jeremy-hunts-planned-budget-cuts-are-fiscal-fiction-says-resolution-foundation-r29ndhhbs#:~:text=Pensioners%20are%20the%20biggest%20losers,which%20focuses%20on%20living%20standards.

[ii] https://ageing-better.org.uk/news/last-weeks-budget