For large numbers of people approaching or at retirement age, their existing home can start to become something of a liability.
As we age, for many of us our home is a source of continuity and emotional attachment.
Although populations today are far more mobile than ever before, even so, that existing property might be the place where our families were born and raised. It's something something that contains a significant investment of our memories and emotions.
Neverheless, it can also bring with it some potential problems.
For many people in their sixties and above, their existing family home is something that is simply too large. It may have been ideal 20 or 30 years previously when a family may have been involved but now it's something that is becoming a problem.
Perhaps we are struggling to keep it as clean and tidy as we once did. It may be that internal decoration is becoming too demanding in terms of the physical and financial effort required. Possibly that large garden has gone from being our pride and joy to something that is now consuming far too much time and requiring more energy than we can realistically put into it.
All these factors are may well balance off that emotional attachment mentioned above.
Options for accommodation
At earlier stages in your life, the obvious solution may be to simply sell and buy a property more suitable to your current needs.
Unfortunately, that is not always an option for people at or around retirement age. The main reason is that it can often be difficult to secure a conventional mortgage or other financing to purchase another property outright once you have passed your major income-earning years.
In theory, any equity you have in your existing property may be available to help purchase another property as well. The difficulty there though is that any capital freed up from the sale of a property can often be something we value as a source of disposable income that can help make our retirement years that bit more enjoyable.
Fortunately, there is an alternative. It involves putting a capital sum into an investment fund, which will then generate amounts sufficient to enable you to lease a property that is suitable for your new situation.
This type of revolutionary system for funding retirement accommodation is growing in popularity. It's a way of avoiding some of the pitfalls and logical dead-ends that can arise If you are trying to simply purchase a more suitable property outright.
Making a decision
It is a fact of life that as we age, it can be more difficult to make and implement major changes in our lifestyles.
That's why it is never too early to start considering some of the above issues and opportunities. Some people start planning and even implementing a change in their property basis while they are in their fifties and long before conventional retirement age.
Whatever your age, if you are looking at your existing property and starting to think that it is simply not a viable basis for a comfortable retirement, it might be sensible to start doing something about it now.