Move Out or Stay Put: Is Equity Release the Right Solution for Retirees?

November 8, 2022
Home Loans for Pensioners on Centrelink

Did you know that the average age of retirement in Australia is 55?

These are meant to be the golden years of life, where you have the freedom to do what you want, where you want, and without the concerns of cash or the 8 AM alarm on Monday morning. But, if you don’t feel comfortable in your home, your retirement can be more tedious than tremendous.

Whether it’s changes to your physical ability that’re making your house uncomfortable or it not suiting your new lifestyle, no one should have to live in a home that doesn’t work for them. That leaves you with two choices: you can up and move, or you can stay put and renovate your property.

To help you decide which is right, we’ve weighed up the pros and cons whilst looking into equity release mortgages. 

The Pros of Moving House

Many retirees decide to move home after they’ve said goodbye to their careers. Moving can come with a whole lot of benefits, including:

Moving Closer to Your Priorities

After you retire, your priorities will likely change. You might want to spend more time with your family or take daily walks in the countryside: whatever makes you happy when you’re no longer working! By moving, you can get closer to your new priorities. Perhaps you want to move out of the city, closer to your children, or nearer to your favourite golf club.

Finding Somewhere More Suited to Your Physical Abilities

Equity Release

Physical changes are inevitable as you age. If you’re already seeing changes to your health, it could be smart to move now. You can find somewhere more suitable to your physical abilities, such as a bungalow or a home with a flatter garden, and move whilst it’s still easy to do so.

Embracing a New Community

Retiring is the start of a new chapter in your life, and discovering a new community could be just what you need to kickstart it! Moving to a different neighbourhood gives you new places to explore, new people to meet, and could introduce a change of pace into your life.

Cutting Back on Living Costs

Around 50% of over 55’s consider downsizing, helping them to save money whilst finding somewhere more suitable for retired living. If you’re worried about costs during retirement, moving to a cheaper property could increase your budget and reduce stress.

The Cons of Moving House

We’ve looked at the pros, but what about the cons? There are definitely reasons that retirees stay put, including:

Avoiding the Stress of Moving

Moving home is one of the top five most stressful life events. If you want a retirement of relaxation, no one would blame you for staying where you are! 

Moving Away From Your Community

The community where you live can become a family in its own right. For retirees who love the area they live in, moving property can be very unappealing. Even if your property doesn’t suit your lifestyle anymore, you don’t want to leave behind your friends and favourite cafes!

Leaving Behind Your Family Home

If you’ve lived in your home for many years, you’ve probably become attached to it. Maybe you raised your children in it, bought it with your partner many years ago, or simply love the memories you have there. You don’t want to move and leave your home behind, and no one would argue with that.

Do You Have the Money to Renovate?

Equity Release

If you don’t want to move property, there are other options. Many retirees choose to renovate their homes instead, altering them to suit their needs better and create a comfortable haven to spend their days in. But renovations cost money. If you’re not sure how to fund yours, an equity release mortgage is something we’d recommend looking into.

What Is an Equity Release Mortgage?

The idea is actually pretty simple. You access the money you’ve been paying into your property in the form of a loan. But, rather than paying the loan back monthly and dealing with debt, it’s paid back when you sell your property. Of course, there are many different options available – which are expertly broken down here in Online Mortgage Advisor’s equity release mortgage guide. 

Is an Equity Release Mortgage Right For You?

There’s no doubt that an equity release mortgage is a fantastic way to access funds in your retirement years. Since buying your property, it’s very likely that it’s gone up in value and this mortgage allows you to access some of that excess equity.

Rather than leaving all the money to your beneficiaries, you can use it to renovate your property and supplement your pension and savings. 

It is important to consider that this will take away from the sale value of your property, though. If you’re planning to hand your home down to your children or partner, you may want to discuss your ideas with them first. You’ll also pay interest on your loan.

Equity Release

Of course, if you don’t sell the property in your lifetime, that won’t matter! But, it is something to consider for your next of kin.

Final Words

If you want to renovate your home rather than move, an equity release mortgage is a brilliant solution for any funding problems. At the end of the day, these are your retirement years, and if you want to access some of the equity in your home, you should! Hopefully, this article has helped you decide one way or the other, clearing up doubt about your future so that you can start enjoying the present.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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