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04 Jan 2018

Adapting your home for retirement costs over £10,000 on average

One in three homeowners (32%) over the age of 65 plan to make improvements to their home so it is more manageable in retirement, according to research from Key Retirement.

Around half (49%) of over-65 homeowners have already made improvements, including adding downstairs bathrooms, additional handrails and stair rails, as well as major changes such as stair lifts and making gardens more manageable.

Other popular improvement projects include building an extension, with 11% of over-65s considering adding an extension for relatives or live-in carers to use, while 22% are considering upgrading their central heating and 19% are looking at double or triple glazing.

Retired homeowners face average costs of around £10,400 to make their home retirement ready, the retirement specialist found.

Over three quarters (77%) are confident they have savings they can use to pay for the planned improvements, while equity release is seen as the second most popular way of funding home improvements. However, around one in 10 are considering cashing in pensions or taking out bank loans to fund the work.

Commenting on the findings, Dean Mirfin, chief product officer at Key Retirement, said: “Nearly two-thirds of equity release customers are using some or all of their property wealth for home and garden improvements highlighting the growing demand across the country.

“Millions want to stay in their homes but often forget the need to adapt a home so it is retirement ready and more comfortable when people are less physically able.

“We should all probably plan ahead but circumstances change rapidly and you may need to take action quickly, which can be difficult when the average cost is £10,400 to ensure your home is suitable and your retirement is as comfortable as possible.”

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