Would you be happy renting in retirement?

A major goal for many during their retirement will be to enjoy their home after finishing paying off their mortgage. Depending on when you purchased your house however, and with house prices seeing a rise of 30% in the past decade, owning outright is becoming more difficult to achieve for some.

Renting during retirement is therefore becoming more and more common, with around a quarter of retirees renting their home. Whilst some had chosen to do this to free up funds to clear debts or support their children, there are a number of benefits to choosing to rent rather than own during retirement even if you don’t need a financial boost.

One of the key benefits comes from the fact that average rent prices generally follow real incomes rather than inflation rates, which can help to keep housing costs down. Another positive is avoiding the burden of property maintenance thanks to a landlord being required to take care of repairs and upgrades. Over a typical ten year period, landlords are estimated to spend between £10,000 and £20,000 maintaining a property – all money that need not be spent by you on a house you own yourself.

Another plus point to renting in retirement is the flexibility it can afford you. Whilst some spend time and money purchasing a property nearer to family, those who rent can do so much more quickly and easily, also giving them the added benefit of looking for shorter tenancies of six months if they need to move again. There are even retirees who rent for six months during the warmer UK months, then rent for another six months overseas, offering a potentially easier alternative to owning a property abroad.

For those looking to rent in retirement, there are a number of options. The first is private rental through a letting agent or landlord. The second is to contact your local authority housing office, who can assist in liaisons with housing associations, trusts and charities.

The third option is renting in a purpose-built retirement development, which come with a range of additional benefits. Tenancies are often fixed-term for two years or are sometimes offered on an assured basis, helping you to feel settled for a longer period should you wish. Many also include bill payments as part of your monthly rent, high levels of security and care should you need it, as well as access to leisure facilities.

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