The pandemic has influenced over-50s to plan a move after a year of lockdowns
The events of the past 18 months are the driving force behind around 12% of people aged over 50 in the UK to relocate in retirement, moving closer to family and friends, pursuing a better quality of life or even moving abroad, according to new research from Legal & General Retail Retirement.
In 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that people of retirement age in England were already leaving major urban areas and instead moving to rural areas, locations by the coast or to areas of ‘outstanding natural beauty’. The data demonstrated that Dorset, Shropshire and Wiltshire were ‘retirement migration hotspots’, while England’s largest cities saw net outflows of retirement-age residents, with London, Birmingham and Bristol seeing the largest number of exits.
Nearly a year on, Legal & General’s research has found that the pandemic has influenced some over-50s to plan a move after a year of lockdowns. Over-50s want to relocate to somewhere that offers a better quality of life (7%), to move close to friends and family (4%) or to live abroad (3%).
When planning a move, many over-50s consider how the value of their current home plays a role in their long-term plans. 1.3 million pre-retirees over 50 (9%) see themselves as more likely to turn to their property wealth to fund their lifestyle than before the pandemic. In instances where people are relocating, they may downsize to free up property wealth. However, some may already have chosen to access the equity in their homes via a lifetime mortgage, which they may be able to port over to a new property in a different location.
Claire Singleton, CEO, Legal & General Home Finance, comments: Relocating in retirement was already a well-observed trend, with older people reprioritising their needs as they enter the next stage of their life.
As with many aspects of our lives, the challenges of the pandemic seem to have led many people to take stock of their current living situation. There can be many benefits to relocation, whether it is a better quality of life, more space or even the opportunity to be closer to loved ones, she says.
She says: One thing that is clear is that many people will also see their decision informed by how their property wealth factors into their long-term financial planning.
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