5 key things to consider when relocating in retirement
If you’re over 60 years old and are thinking about relocating in your retirement, there may be many considerations occupying your mind. Moving home in retirement is a huge decision, especially if you’re choosing to relocate and move away from an area you’ve lived in for many years.
It’s likely there are many reasons why you’re considering a move, particularly as we get closer to the festive season and are planning to spend more time with friends and family. Plus, people are retiring much later these days and are not necessarily looking to slow down and put their feet up just yet.
Living somewhere where you can embrace the local culture, live close to your loved ones and generally continue to do the things you enjoy is key.
A recent survey of 8,000 people over the age of 50 found the most common reasons retirees choose to relocate are:
- Good healthcare (87 percent)
- Strong transport links (78 percent)
- Friendly neighbours (77 percent)
- Low crime rate (73 percent)
- Access to leisure facilities (40 percent)
- A good social scene (33 percent)
- To be close to good pubs (10 percent)
But while relocating might be extremely attractive for all these reasons, here are 5 very important factors to consider before you pack your bags.
1. Why do you want to relocate?
Before you make the decision to relocate in your retirement, it’s important to take some time to work our your moving goals and confirm that this is definitely the dream location for you. Often moving goals will center around location – is the new property close to family, does the area offer better value for property, will you be able to join community activities and so on.
Many retirees enjoy living within walking distance of coffee shops, the town centre and leisure facilities like fitness centres, cinemas and restaurants. For others, living in rural areas with easy access to nature or the coast is a priority. Wherever you’re looking to live in your retirement, be sure to check you’ll have access to the amenities you’ll need and are able to pursue the hobbies you love so you can enjoy your retirement fully.
When you think you’ve found the perfect property and are ready to relocate, ask yourself a few key questions to confirm it meets your moving goals before making your offer – use this free checklist to help!
2. Will you be well supported?
There’s much more to finding the perfect location to spend your retirement in than simply ticking off the necessary amenities. It’s the intangibles like having family and friends nearby that make a house a home.
One of the most common reasons our Home for Life Plan customers relocate in their retirement is to be closer to loved ones. Whether it’s to be available and able to spend more time with grandchildren, to have support during ill health or simply just to enjoy a new location – your support network is key to choosing the right area for your retirement.
Consider spending time in the area before you move and talk to residents and business owners too. This will help you get a real feel for the town and knowing there are local people with similar interests to you will make the prospect of relocating in your retirement much less daunting. You’ll build new and lasting friendships from day one!
Did you know there are services available to help you learn more about an area before you move? At Homewise, we work with the Relocation Agent Network which gives you access to trusted, impartial and free advice while you’re planning your move. Plus, if you’re a Homewise customer, our friendly team of property experts will take care of you every step of the moving process as part of our free Move Simply service!
3. How affordable is your dream location?
Affordability is a key consideration when relocating in retirement. If you’re moving to a new part of the country, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with property prices in the area.
Many popular areas for retirees are also in high demand among holidaymakers and commuters, like South West England for example, which can push the prices up. So, doing your research and understanding the current market is the key to finding the perfect location for your retirement.
West Sussex and Dorset have been ranked as the UK’s two best places to retire but they are both areas where property prices and the cost of living are high. Consider expanding your search radius, even in sought-after locations there can still be more reasonably priced areas nearby.
If you have been living abroad and are considering moving back to the UK, you may be finding (like many other expats) that your dream location isn’t quite within your affordability. It’s important to understand your moving budget, pin point why you want to move home before you begin your search and explore your options (see below).
Not sure what you can afford? Use our quick and simple calculator to help you establish your budget. Understanding what you can afford will help you find the perfect home sooner.
4. Do you need to downsize?
Many people relocating in retirement take the opportunity to downsize. Downsizing can be a great way to get a fresh start in your new location. Living in a smaller home doesn’t mean you need to feel cramped or cluttered. Read our guide to maximising your available space for top tips when you live in a smaller property.
As well as moving to a more practical and accessible space, this can also help you to free up capital and potentially reduce your monthly bills. Downsizing can be an effective way to improve your retirement finances, but don’t forget there are still short-term costs involved with moving home.
This will be included when you calculate your moving budget but it’s important to consider that agency fees, legal fees, stamp duty, as well as maintenance and improvement costs, may quickly eat up your savings. So be sure to factor these in when planning your move and relocating in retirement.
Getting ready to downsize? Use this short 4-step guide to help you declutter and downsize your home with ease.
5. Have you explored your options?
When you’re planning for the future you may be considering moving home and relocating in your retirement, but it’s also important to consider what would it mean to stay living where you are.
Can you afford to live and enjoy your retirement within your savings? Do you have a mortgage or previous debts to be cleared? Is your current property suitable for later in life, for example are there lots of stairs to contend with? Is the area remote and isolated - do you have the support you need from loved ones in this location? You should consider these factors before confirming relocating is the right choice for you.
It’s important to explore and discuss the options that are available to you. It can seem easier to stay in your current property in familiar surroundings but remember why you are looking to move home. Talk with friends, family and independent advisors about any concerns you have for the future and feel reassured you’re ready to embrace this next chapter in life.
Here at Homewise it’s our mission to help people retire happy. With our Home for Life Plan, we help people to find the perfect home for their retirement. The Home for Life Plan is a lifetime lease option which means you pay a one-off reduced price* to live in the property of your choice without rent, mortgage or interest repayments, and are secured to live there for your lifetime.
If you’re over 60 years old and looking to move, find out how we could help you save up to 59% on the price of your next home! Call 0800 043 4488 or fill in our contact form today.
In the meantime, if you're over 60 and interested in our Home for Life Plan, you can use our online Budget Booster! It's simple, quick and could provide you with a better understanding of your potential budget.
Are you helping your parents plan for their retirement? Read our short guide discover if the Home for Life Plan could be the right choice to help your parents retire happy.
*Savings range from 8.5% to 59% and depend on the customer’s age, personal circumstances and property criteria. Only available to those over sixty years old.