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Adapting your home for old age costs £10,000

Written by: Christina Hoghton
Retired homeowners face average costs of around £10,400 to make their home retirement ready, according to research.

Over-55s financial advice specialist, Key Retirement, found that one in eight will need to fork out over £20,000 to adapt their home if they plan to live in it throughout retirement.

The biggest concern for over-65s when making their home retirement ready is having a more manageable garden – around 54% plan to spend money to achieve this. One in five (19%) want a bathroom downstairs and 22% are looking to install a chair lift.

Around half (49%) of over-65 homeowners have already made improvements to their home so it’s more manageable in retirement, including adding handrails and stair rails.

But another 32% who are planning to make changes will have to raid savings to find the money to fund them.

Property wealth

Key Retirement noted a growing interest in using property wealth to pay for home improvements.

Its research showed around 77% of older homeowners are confident they have savings they can use to pay for the planned improvements, with equity release seen as the second most popular way of funding home improvements.

Worryingly around one in 10 over-65 homeowners are considering cashing in pensions or taking out bank loans.

Dean Mirfin, chief product officer at the firm, said: “Millions want to stay in their homes but often forget the need to adapt a home so it is retirement ready and more comfortable when people are less physically able.

“We should all probably plan ahead but circumstances change rapidly and you may need to take action quickly which can be difficult when the average cost is £10,400 to ensure your home is suitable and your retirement is as comfortable as possible.”

Key’s data shows the average equity release customer is able to access around £70,625 in property wealth to improve their standard of living in retirement, while remaining in their home.

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