Posted by Oliver Meredew on May 3rd, 2016.
The popular convention of retiring is to consolidate nest egg savings by moving out of a large home and into a smaller one to accommodate a reduced need for space and a desire to save money.
An increasing trend in the world of retirement, however, is to move in the opposite direction – upsizing. While on paper it might seem like a strange choice, a closer look at the points in favour of upsizing may just change your mind about scaling up after reaching retirement.
It’s no secret – life expectancy is rising and people are living longer. In general, we’re outliving our predecessors by more than ever before due to changes in attitude towards health and diet and considerable medical and scientific advances.
With this fact in mind, it’s worth using foresight when considering where you want to live when retiring, regardless of whether you’ve reached the required age or still have a way to go.
Attitudes have shifted towards retirement over the years, with the apparently tried and tested formula of a smaller, more secluded life after retirement giving way to a much more free-form way of thinking. This is especially true if you have a large family, as remaining in contact with siblings, children and grandchildren after retirement can create a socially-rich, active environment.
Not just keeping it in the family, but ‘keeping the family in’ is one of the most prominent reasons for upsizing, as with a growing network of children and grandchildren comes an increased space requirement when they all come visiting.
Moving into a bigger house is a sure-fire way of solving this problem and depending on just how idyllic the surroundings are, you may have a lot more visits from relatives than expected!
The use of a larger home as a resting point for family members can also extend to more permanent situations, such as letting children stay when they hit a rut in their careers or when they want to save for a deposit for their own home.
Transitioning from a larger home to a smaller one is always difficult when it comes to organising your belongings, as the inevitable situation ensues when you have to decide between what stays and what you simply don’t have room for. When upsizing, however, this is no longer an issue and you may even need to buy more items to fill up your newfound space.
Purchasing a larger property could also prove to be a lucrative investment. With the global population growing and space becoming a premium, larger homes are likely to command more in the future.
Chances are that by the time you reach the age of retirement, you’ll have a pretty clear idea of what you do and don’t want to be doing with all the free time you’re suddenly going to have. When considering upsizing as an option for the future, the surroundings and the activities they offer can be as much of a draw as the property itself.
If you happen to have a penchant for golfing, for example, your dream house might be waiting a short distance away from a world-renowned course. For those who have a passion for exploring the great outdoors, there may just be a home on the edge of perfect walking territory that can cater for your every need.
If you’re concerned that upsizing seems like a self-indulgent option, remember that you deserve it! Having worked for decades to build up a pension and pot of savings, why not spend it acquiring or building the home of your dreams? It’s a long journey from first entering the world of work to eventually retiring, so it makes sense for there to be a metaphorical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to look forward to.
Upsizing can also make it a lot easier to make any necessary alterations to your home in later life. From adding in a bathroom on the ground floor to having a stairlift fitted, with a larger home you have the space to accommodate any additions which could help make your life that bit easier.
If you’re sold on the idea of bucking the downsizing trend and upsizing in your retirement, you may want to consider whether you could make your money go further by looking abroad.
Earlier in the year we explored what kind of property you might expect to buy for £250,000 in various overseas locations. The article highlighted the extreme disparity in global property prices/sizes depending on where you look, with a five bed country farmhouse (complete with swimming pool) in Spain costing as much as a garage in London!
When purchasing a foreign property and planning an overseas retirement, you can also save money by looking into your currency transfer options and securing a more competitive exchange rate. Achieving a good rate for your currency transfer could leave you thousands better off, so it’s well worth investing a little time in some research.
Whether you decide to upsize in the UK or abroad, good luck with your property hunt and enjoy your retirement!
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