Britain is still best, say home owners

Article date: 30 April 2002

Britons are turning their backs on the dream of retiring to thesun, a new study reveals today.

Despite a common belief that hardworking Brits want to jump shipand retire abroad for the sunshine, two thirds of people say theywould prefer to stay put and spend their retirement in the UK,according to research commissioned by Norwich Union.

And the country cottage gets the thumbs up as the top choice ofplaces to live for people over 55 who are considering theirretirement.

Almost a third of people would like to live in the countryside,while 17 per cent fancy retiring by the sea.

Norwich Union’s study also reveals that family ties areone of the strongest reasons for keeping retirees in the UK –with one in five people citing spending their golden years livingclose to their children and grandchildren as the most importantthing.

Commenting on the study, Julie Skipper from Norwich UnionPersonal Finance said: “Our research reveals that having madea life for themselves in the UK, people would rather stay wherethey are and close to their family and roots than move abroad whenthey retire.

“But if they were to stay in their current home for theirretirement, half would want to redecorate the entire house to theirtaste. We also found that landscaping the garden and building aconservatory are popular improvements people would make to theirhome in their retirement.”

Norwich Union’s ‘Home Improvements’ researchreveals that the most popular changes people would make to theirhome if money were no object are:

  1. Redecorating the entire home
  2. Landscaping the garden
  3. Building a conservatory
  4. Fitting a new kitchen
  5. Building an extension
  6. Converting the loft
  7. Replacing the windows

Peter Everett, marketing manager for on-line estate agent YOURMOVE, added: "There is a clear trend of people staying in thefamily home during their retirement years. They are choosing toembark on improvements to make their properties more comfortableplaces to live, and by doing so, often enhance itsvalue.”

The study was conducted as Norwich Union launches its first evertelevision advertising campaign for equity release this month. Theadvertisement focuses on a man in his 60s enjoying his newly builtconservatory.

Julie Skipper added: “For people considering theirretirement options or for people who are already enjoying theirretirement, making their home more comfortable is often one oftheir priorities. In fact, home improvements, such as building aconservatory or an extension, are one of the most common uses forpeople taking out an equity release plan, along with travel, extraincome and new cars.”

For people wanting more information about equity release,Norwich Union has produced a guide for consumers explaining theequity release process. For your free copy of ‘Unlock yourfuture – equity release made easy’ call Freefone 0800122 876.

Press contact:
Anja Kueppers or Matthew Buchanan at QBO on 020 7379 0304, 07803501804 or 07939 232174. Or Louise Zucchi at Norwich Union PressOffice on 08703 666 860 or 07860 203466.

Notes to editors

  • Norwich Union commissioned Taylor Nelson Sofres to conduct anindependent survey of 1,000 homeowners. The research was carriedout in March 2002.
  • The plans provide a lifetime loan secured on property. Fullwritten terms and conditions are available on request.
  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. It is theUK’s largest provider of life, pensions and investmentproducts and one of the leading IFA providers. IFAs provide around75% of the company’s long-term savings business.
  • Norwich Union has strategic alliances with over 20 buildingsocieties and other leading UK brand names including TescoPersonal Finance and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on thisinternet site
  • A selection of images is available from the CGNU Newscast siteat
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality interviews.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 68

For all life & pensions media enquiries 08703 66 68 73
For all other media enquiries 08703 66 68 68

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