Things To Consider When Buying A Retirement Property

Things To Consider When Buying A Retirement Property

After spending decades in the workforce, you might be looking forward to a retirement that’s fulfilling, relaxing, and fun.

To get the best from these years, you’ll probably want to think about where you’ll be living.

The home that was right for you during your working life might not be quite as suitable during your retirement, for a whole range of reasons.

Naturally, there’s a degree of upheaval that comes with any move, especially if you’re parting with a home that’s of sentimental value. In many cases, however, the long-term benefits justify the short-term stress.

Here are the key things to consider when buying a retirement property.

Financial Considerations

The UK population is ageing, and many people in their fifties are looking for mortgages.

The good news is that there are now many specialist lenders willing to cater to people in this situation, and their particular demands.

Look for a mortgage product that’s a good fit for your circumstances.

Ensure that your financial affairs are in order, and that you have planned for your tax obligations during retirement.

You might need to hire an accountant to prepare you for this period – but this is only worthwhile for larger and more complex estates.

If you’re intent on buying a fixer-upper, think about how much work you can do yourself.

Renovations can be a great way to keep yourself busy and fulfilled, especially if you’re not doing anything more strenuous than putting up a bit of extra plasterboard.

Location and security

The location of any prospective property purchase will obviously matter.

You’ll likely spend more time in your new property than in your older one, so pick something you’ll feel happy about.

Road noise might be a concern; on the other hand, a feeling of utter tranquillity can be a little isolating.

Make sure that you’re within reach of your loved ones. Even if you’re not reliant on them now, the chances are fair that you’ll need them at some point.

Certain kinds of retirement communities offer substantial security benefits, including wardens, CCTV, and gates.

On the other hand, you can replicate many of these in a home that you own. Install CCTV and learn how to use it. Nowadays, it’s very affordable.

Size and facilities

Size is another factor to consider, as often the case is that retirement properties may be too small for your needs.

Although downsizing is one of the reasons behind retirement, you may find it difficult to live in space that is much smaller than your previous home.

Most people do a serious decluttering when downsizing, but you still would want to make sure that there is enough room for your possessions in your future property.

Facilities will vary a lot from one property to another and you’d need to research what is on offer and does it meet your needs.

For some, having a cup of tea in the afternoon with the other residents in the communal area and a short walk in the evening may be enough, while others’ idea of a good time might be playing tennis, visiting the spa or going to a restaurant.

As one would expect, this will be reflected in the amount of money you will be paying for these services, and it’s well worth sitting down and thinking about what’s best for you.

Opportunities to socialise

Many retirees develop a new outlook on socialising and social events.

Ensure you’re within reach of a local community, especially if you’re the sort of person who thrives when they’re with other people.

Check local events, facilities, and online groups that might offer you a chance to get into a real-world group that shares all of your interests.

Loneliness and boredom can be a problem in retirement, especially if you haven’t planned to fill your days.

Be proactive about tackling it early, and avoid suffering later.

For this reason, it’s often a good idea to move close to people you’re already friends with – especially if you naturally have trouble meeting new people.


  • Stephen

    Stephen is now retired. He spent 25 years in community welfare and is one of the co-founders of life over 50. He has a keen interest in everything concerning this special age group.....and makes valuable contributions to the site. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, cycling and gardening. Also a keen jazz music lover!

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