Selling your home as part of retirement planning?

With people living longer than ever before, retirement planning is becoming increasingly important.

What is a retirement plan?

Retirement planning is largely a budgeting exercise – how much you will have coming in versus how much your outgoings are likely to be.

If, as part of your financial planning, you realise your predicted retirement income is unlikely to cover your outgoings, now is the time to address the shortfall.

You have three options: increase your retirement income, reduce your outgoings, or do both!

People aged 90 and over per 100,000 population, UK, 1985 to 2015

Retirement planning tips

Increase your retirement income: There are several ways you can increase your retirement income, and it’s never too late to start. If you have significant expendable income, pay any extra you can into a private pension plan or savings account. If you don’t have much spare cash, you could consider some popular cost-saving exercises to help you add to your pension pot. Comparing utilities providers and shopping around for the best value insurance policies can make a big difference to your monthly outgoings.

Reduce your outgoings: Retirement planning provides a great opportunity to review your finances and the assets you hold, and of course, for many, property still represents their largest financial asset.

How could downsizing help?

Downsizing is a topic very closely linked to retirement planning. Many people approaching retirement age are living in large family homes that are far bigger than they need.

Large properties consume a vast amount of money each month. Even if you are mortgage-free, utility bills and maintenance costs soon add up. You may also have a significant amount of equity tied up in the property that could be added to your pension pot if you chose to downsize to a smaller property.

How to start a retirement plan

Setting up a retirement plan is the first step to a successful and stress-free retirement. Retirement planning software, such as this retirement calculator from Age UK, can be a great help.

A retirement planning checklist will also help with your planning and ensure you’ve considered every element. There are lots of free tools available on the internet that will help.

Planning for retirement needs and moving to an age-specific property:

If you feel that moving is likely to form a central part of your retirement planning, there are several ‘retirement property’ options available to you.

Selling a house and downsizing can be a very practical solution to retirement living. Having a smaller property to maintain will not only make things easier physically, it will also amount to smaller annual household bills.

Pros of downsizing upon retirement:

  • Less time to spend on maintenance and cleaning
  • Reduce your monthly household bills and increase your expendable income
  • Release capital from your old house, giving you extra cash to enjoy in retirement

Cons of downsizing upon retirement:

  • Less room for your personal belongings, so a declutter is essential
  • Loneliness and social isolation can be an issue for older people, especially if living alone. You may want to consider this if you’re planning to downsize to a private, independent property in a new area.

Types of retirement properties

Retirement villages and apartments

The increasing number of luxury retirement villages and apartments has revolutionised the top end of the retirement property market.

There are many benefits to living in a retirement village, the biggest being a ready-made community.

Pros of living in a retirement village:

  • Ready-made communities with like-minded people.
  • Social activities – Retirement villages often have activity calendars that run throughout the year, so you’ll never get bored. Some facilities even boast swimming pools, gyms and games rooms.
  • Secure and safe – The community feel and ‘leisure complex’ layout offered by many retirement villages provide a great sense of safety and security to many retired residents.
  • Variable levels of care and assistance can be provided upon request

Cons of living in a retirement village:

  • New retirement developments can be quite costly compared to equivalent properties on the open market. To get the best indication on price, it’s always best to check prices directly with the developer. McCarthy & Stone, one of the UK’s biggest retirement developers, is always a good place to start.
  • Depending on the package you choose, you could just end up with your bedroom and bathroom as ‘private space’ with the rest being communal.

Move into a park home on a residential park:

If you like the idea of maintaining your independence in retirement and are keen to own a property, but your budget won’t stretch as far as a luxury retirement village, residential parks are an increasingly popular option.

As with a retirement village, you would own your own home and have the benefit of a ready-made community, surrounded by people with a similar lifestyle.

Many residential parks have had impressive makeovers in recent years and have become a desirable option for the retirement community.

Pros of living in a park home:

  • Safety and security – many residential parks are gated, fully secured sites
  • Like-minded, friendly communities
  • Over 55’s only

Cons of living in a park home:

  • You purchase the park home, but not the ground it sits on, so will have ground rent to pay on top of council tax
  • Unlike buying a traditional property, the value of a park home will depreciate

Move into sheltered accommodation:

Depending on your overall health, a move to sheltered accommodation or warden-controlled accommodation could be the right option for your retirement move.

Sheltered accommodation is specifically designed for older people, to allow them to live independently but with the assistance of onsite support, if required. Most sheltered accommodation schemes will not accept residents who require regular nursing care. In these circumstances, you will require support from a care home.

Pros of living in sheltered accommodation:

  • Maintain a level of independence
  • Personal alarm system in place in case of emergency, for added peace of mind
  • Option to remain with your spouse, which isn’t always available in other care situations
  • Opportunity to socialise with other residents within the accommodation scheme

Cons of living in sheltered accommodation:

  • Service charges apply – These tend to be more than a traditional leasehold property, as you are paying for the overheads of warden staff, alarm systems etc.
  • No medical care provision

Staying in your current home:

For some approaching retirement, a move might not be necessary. Many of us build an emotional attachment to our homes that make us resistant to the idea of moving.

If you feel it would be better for you to stay in your existing home when you retire, it is possible to make adaptations if needed.  Aids such as stairlifts and panic alarms are fairly easy to install if required.

Sell your house to Quick Move Now to help with retirement planning

For many homeowners, selling their current property is an essential part of retirement planning. However, a delay or struggle to sell on the open market can complicate and even halt plans altogether.

By selling your house directly to Quick Move Now, you can benefit from the peace of mind that comes with a guaranteed house sale. We can even purchase your property on a date of your choice.

By selling your home directly to Quick Move Now, you eradicate the normal stresses and uncertainties associated with the traditional open property market, meaning you are free to start enjoying your retirement plans as soon as you want.

Benefits of selling your house to Quick Move Now

  • Because we buy houses directly, the sale and the price are guaranteed
  • You are in complete control of the completion date
  • Easy process with full support throughout
  • No estate agents
  • We cover the cost of your legal fees
  • No fees and no obligation at any point
  • No hassle or stress
  • The process is easy – complete our online estimate request form to see how much we could offer.

Don’t just take our word for it! Quick Move Now has bought over 5,500 houses since 1998. Read Quick Move Now reviews from real people >>

When Mr and Mrs Sleigh decided to downsize, they were keen to secure a quick house sale.

Quick Move Now’s direct cash house buying solution allowed them to move to their new property quickly and easily.

Mr Sleigh explains:

We wanted to sell our house in order to buy a park home in readiness for our retirement and were keen to clear our outstanding mortgage.

Quick Move Now returned our initial call very quickly and were happy to answer any questions we had about the process. Because they were able to purchase our property with their own funds, we were able to sell our house quickly and buy the park home we wanted.

Being in control of the timescales was brilliant – it allowed us to move as quickly as we wanted – and we thought the service we received was excellent.

We would recommend Quick Move Now to our family and friends because we know they are a genuine company and we found the service much better than the conventional way of selling; it was definitely less stressful and quicker.

Quick Move Now can buy any house, in any condition, anywhere in England or Wales, so there’s no need to dip into your retirement fund to pay for the cost of things like redecoration.

If you are planning to retire soon and want to sell your home, we could help. Call our friendly team today on 0800 068 3366 for a free, no-obligation cash offer.

This content was written by Quick Move Now
Published on 2nd July 2016
Last updated on 13th May 2019