When approaching retirement, there are many things to consider: your health and future income, as well as ambitions for exploring the world, or even studying for a degree. Nowadays, it is quite commonplace for people to continue working well into their 70’s, either part or full time, as freelancers or in employment, or as volunteers.
Older people have both experience and a wide range of skills, which are invaluable to business and championing their communities: saving the local pub or becoming a councillor. So, planning the future demands careful thought.
Downsizing may be on the agenda. However, with young people remaining at home for longer, multi-generational living is proving a more attractive option. There is a growing trend for retirees to focus on a ‘lifetime home’; either retaining the family property, remodelling or extending to create appropriate accommodation for them as they age, or moving to a property which can be adapted.
You may have a child with special needs, who can never be fully independent, or be responsible for an elderly relative, so including space for everyone simplifies day to day care. It makes sense to combine resources; in some circumstances the best solution may be to relocate to the older person’s home, whilst letting instead of selling your own property.
So, start a conversation with family, debating the issues, agreeing priorities as well as medium-term commitments; separate entrances, as well as bathrooms and kitchens, ensures everyone has their independence – and privacy. A good architect can interpret your requirements, coming up with creative energy efficient design solutions to meet existing and future needs, advising on whether the best option would be staying or a move.
Once agreement is reached, the architect can negotiate the Planning process through the local authority, and help choosing the right builder, setting a timetable and budget, allowing for contingencies.
However, in the event of a decision to move, and your existing property is on a large plot, it is worth checking whether it has development potential. It is increasingly commonplace for a site to be divided, creating space for another property to be built, or even for the existing property to be demolished and replaced with a number of homes. Any development could have significant impact on the property’s valuation and a good estate agent (or architect) should advise on maximising that value to your benefit. If in doubt, ask your council Planning department for clarity.
Giving yourself time to plan these major changes and the inevitable impact on future income and lifestyle is essential.
For example, are you eligible to borrow to fund changes to a property, rather than use savings or capital raised through the sale of assets? Would multi-generational living affect household and personal insurance? Would it be cost-effective to share car usage across the age range? How can you prepare for any future elderly care needs?
These, and other issues, can be shared with our experts at Premier Equity Release, who can offer confidential guidance on how to manage your finances, optimising income for an enjoyable extended retirement.