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Downsizing for retirement in a new area

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Fact:
41% downsizers do so for maintenance reasons

When Vivien and Paul’s children moved out, they decided to downsize and buy their dream seaside home, saving for their retirement in the meantime. We find out more.

When people think of retirement, a bustling city lifestyle is likely not in the equation – after all, it is a time for resting and enjoying everything you’ve worked for. This is why, when downsizing, a scenic option can be an attractive prospect.

For Vivien Barron, aged 62, making the move from London to coastal Dorset town Swanage was a positive change. She lives with her husband Paul and has two children, aged 28 and 26. We spoke to her to find out more about why she decided to downsize her plans for retirement.

Leaving the city

The family went “from a large 1930's three double bedroom house to a smaller 3 bedroom house,” and from the busy streets of London to the quieter seaside location. The move was a long time coming, with Vivien and Paul planning for a decade for their retirement aspirations.

There were a number of motives for this including their children moving out. As well as this Vivien says, “We always dreamed of living by the coast and we have realised that dream.”

Saving time and money

4 in 10 (41%) of downsizers do so for maintenance reasons,1 and Vivien and her husband are no different, saying:

Our new house was built in the early 70's so more modern, easy to heat and clean and is much more compact but we still have room for the occasional guest!

They were also able to release an amazing £134,000 from the sale, which is more than double the average figure for over-45 downsizers, which currently sits at £57,140.2 Far from spending it all frivolously, however, Vivien used a portion of this to refurbish the new house, some went on a car, and they invested the rest.

Providing for the next generation

Like many parents, Vivien and Paul plan to help out their children. This includes deposits on their first homes, which we found was similar to the plans of one in three parents across the UK.3 Vivien states, “We want to help them as much as we can whilst we are alive. Also it will give us the freedom to have money to fall back on if we suffer from ill health or need care etc.”

Downsizing for retirement can seem daunting but staying local to family made things easier for Suzi

This is a wise strategy, and gives the family the opportunity to plan ahead. It has not been without blips, though, and Vivien states that she wishes she had planned ahead more for this time in her life: “I have a small pension (not enough to live on) and will cash in it when I am 65. It is a small pension because I thought about retirement far too late and didn't think I would be able to save enough in a short time.”

Thankfully, the equity from downsizing, alongside her husband’s pension package will see them through with more than enough. But, planning ahead for retirement is definitely a lesson for today’s young professionals to take on board.

Additional sources

[1]Aviva’s Real Retirement Report 2016 www.aviva.com/media/upload/Aviva_Real_Retirement_Report_summer_2016_-_embargoed_for_Wed_27_July.pdf
[2]Aviva’s Real Retirement Report 2016 www.aviva.com/media/upload/Aviva_Real_Retirement_Report_summer_2016_-_embargoed_for_Wed_27_July.pdf
[3]Aviva’s Real Retirement Report 2016 www.aviva.com/media/upload/Aviva_Real_Retirement_Report_summer_2016_-_embargoed_for_Wed_27_July.pdf

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