Later Life

Over-55s face £8,000 bill to 'care proof' their homes

Rozi Jones
|
9th October 2020
older people equity release oap retirement retire conversation
"The vast majority of people want to receive care and support in the familiar surroundings of their own home but only one in five people believe that their home is suitable if their health does decline"

The majority of over 55s admit their current home is not suitable to cope with any future care needs and face major bills to adapt their houses, according to a new report from Key.

Key’s research shows that nearly half (47%) of over-55s would prefer to stay in their homes if they need care, while another 28% would want to be in a more manageable home or sheltered accommodation. Only 5% would expect to live with family members while just 4% would opt for residential care.

However Key’s report, which highlights the need for advice on care and the likelihood of needing care, found just a fifth (21%) of those over the age of 55 believe their current home is suitable for their needs if their health declines in later years.

Nearly two out of five (38%) admit their homes need work to make them suitable for later life living with the average bill for improvements averaging just over £8,000. However nearly a third of those expecting to make improvements plan to spend more than £10,000.

Potential improvements being planned include installing a wet room, or stair lift, or improving accessibility.

The research also found that ‘age proofing’ a home remains a popular choice for many people who take out equity release, with over half (59%) of customers spending some of the money they release on making their home more functional and comfortable for themselves as they age.Key’s data shows the average amount of property wealth released was over £74,000 per person.

Will Hale, CEO at Key, said: “The vast majority of people want to receive care and support in the familiar surroundings of their own home but only one in five people believe that their home is suitable if their health does decline as they get older. Indeed, flights of stairs, a big family bathroom and a multi-level garden might be incredibly desirable for a growing family but tougher for an older couple to manage.

“Over-55s estimate that they need to spend in the region of £8,000 to ‘care proof’ their current home with those in Scotland spending less and those in the South West needing to budget more. The need to make these changes may feel like a long way off for those early in retirement but it is important to consider whether your current home could work for you as you get older, otherwise it may be worth exploring other options including a move to a more suitable property."

Related articles
More from Later Life
Subscribe
to our newsletter

Join a community of over 30,000 intermediaries and keep up-to-date with industry news and upcoming events via our newsletter.