Retirees downsizing in 2024 could benefit from moving into a retirement community to help beat the impact of the cost of living on their finances as well as support their wellbeing, according to My Future Living, the UK’s leading retirement rental brand.
A recent report by the National Housing Federation[i] has revealed that more than two-fifths (42%) of older private renters (55+) in England say they regularly struggle to afford basic living costs like buying food, heating their homes, or paying for clothes, and 48% of older private renters are worried about getting into debt over the cost of living.
They highlighted that the number of people over the age of 55 renting privately has rocketed by over 70% in the last decade, growing at three and a half times the rate of the population.
Other research by Hargreaves Lansdown[ii] in September 2023 suggests just under a quarter (23%) people say they plan to downsize in retirement.
Dominic Stead, Property Director at My Future Living said: “For older people in the private rental sector life can be a struggle, especially since the cost-of-living crisis is leading to pensioners’ disposable income falling. Even homeowners can face financial challenges when they retire if they live in a large family home that needs to be heated and maintained.
“As a result, we’re seeing an increasing trend for homeowners to downsize once they retire, with some opting to rent in a retirement community because of the benefits it can bring. These include freeing up capital in a home which they can use in retirement to enjoy a better standard of living, and no longer having to worry about the upkeep of a home.
“Living in a retirement community also gives people access to a sociable community with most developments featuring communal areas for people to mix and make friends, as well as organising events and outings. We support older renters in a number of practical ways, and we recommend those looking to downsize in 2024 consider the benefits that renting in a retirement community can bring if they choose to rent instead of buy.”
How My Future Living supports renters in retirement:
Offering assured ‘lifetime’ tenancies – Most apartments are offered with an assured tenancy, which means that people will not be asked to leave their home (as long as they adhere to the terms of the tenancy agreement). This type of tenancy is uncommon in the private rental sector. As moving is both stressful and costly, an assured tenancy gives people peace of mind and can help them save on costs.
Rent increases are capped – Some private landlords have increased rent by up to 20%, as demand has grown over the past few years[iii]. My Future caps rent increases at just 6%.
Energy efficient apartments – A government directive announced in 2021 stated that all landlords need to ensure their properties have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) of level C or below. This directive has now extended to 2028 but My Future Living is striving forwards to ensure that every apartment is as energy efficient, as soon as possible.
Support with maintenance – Homeowners need to maintain their home which can sometimes lead to unexpected costs if repairs are needed. Also, some landlords insist that property maintenance is the responsibility of the tenant. My Future Living supports customers in maintaining their property and takes cares of most repairs, with the managing agent responsible for cleaning and maintenance of communal areas.
Supporting mental and physical wellbeing in retirement – My Future Living’s recent customer survey showed that 60% have experienced a positive change in their mental health since moving to a retirement community, and 51% said it made an improvement to their physical health. To support tenants, there are emergency pull cords in every apartment and most communities have an onsite manager, plus My Future Living has a Welfare Officer to support customers and their family through any difficult times. Also, many communities run their own activities, so socialising doesn’t need to cost the earth.
My Future Living is currently offering a one bedroom apartment at Homespinney House in Southampton for £895 per month – for more details: Homespinney House, Southampton – My Future Living
To learn more about My Future Living, please visit www.myfutureliving.co.uk.