Retiring is a moment in life to be embraced; a time when one can put the stresses of the workplace behind them, enjoy the later years of life and spend time with the family and socialising with friends.
However, as finances become increasingly stretched for the vast majority of society, retirement worries have started to increase also. One of the main worries for retirees is the mortgage still present on their home. How can they afford to pay this off with a substantially decreased income? Should they pay off their mortgage before they retire? Will they have to move out of their home in order to raise extra funds?
Financial worries related to housing are certainly near the top of the agenda for most retirees, but they needn’t be. There are plenty of different ways to approach the housing situation.
One option is to gift a house to any children you may have. This is easier said than done, however, and if a house is worth more than £325,000 it will be subject to Inheritance Tax. However, if a property is gifted and the giver does not live there rent-free or moves out completely, whilst living for at least seven years, the gift will not be subject to inheritance tax. The small print, as always, can be complicated so legal advice is almost always necessary in these situations.
Selling a house to provide for extra finances and moving in with family can be beneficial for both parties. If support is needed, or it’s simply more desirable to spend time with grandchildren whilst their parents are at work full-time, moving in with family can be the ideal solution. However, it’s always best to talk through practical considerations such as whether or not there will be a contribution toward rent and/or bills.
Another option is to consider is that of park homes. Also known as mobile homes, these are single story houses that are installed on privately owned land. Most of the time residents own their own homes and pay the landowner a fee for the land on which the home is installed. These fees also cover the cost of maintaining common areas and services provided.
Sheltered housing or a retirement home can also be considered. Whilst retirement homes carry a stigma, The Guardian acknowledge that retirement homes actually reduce worries about repairs and maintenance, provide a safe, sociable and supportive environment and offer a basic level of care and support that can help people live independently for longer.
Sadly, it’s almost inevitable that housing worries will accompany any retirement, but a vast array of options are available for anyone and once an option has been pursued, retirement can be enjoyed to however one wishes.