Norwich Union shows there’s no place like home

Norwich Union research has shown that home is where the heart is for many people aged over 55.

The survey of homeowners over the age of 55 was commissioned by Norwich Union Equity Release.

It found that 63% of people aged over 55 have lived in their homes for more than 20 years, and 30% would avoid leaving their home at all costs.

Most of the people surveyed, 70%, say they had a strong emotional attachment to their home.

The emotional costs of moving home make downgrading to a smaller house a difficult choice for many older people. Nearly two thirds, 65%, of people said they would find moving home a very stressful experience.

Research findings also showed that 59% of people would miss their neighbours and neighbourhood if they had to move to a different property, 57% would miss their garden, and 41% would find it hard to leave behind the family memories that are associated with their home.

Mark Kelly, of Norwich Union Equity Release, says: “Our homes are not just filled with memories; they are also often our biggest asset.

“With house prices in the UK at record levels, older people who are living longer and wanting to enjoy a more fulfilling retirement may be looking to their houses as a source of income.

“While downsizing to a smaller property to release capital from a home can be attractive, it is clear from our research that selling up and moving on is not as simple as it sounds.

“Many older people do not want to have to leave their homes, friends and memories, and do not want to incur the stress involved in moving house.”

Kelly adds: “Taking out an equity release plan can help homeowners to realise both the capital locked in their property and the dream of staying in their own home.

“Anyone considering equity release needs to thoroughly understand the options available to them and be confident that they are making the right choice.

“Good advice plays a vital role in this understanding, but knowing the right questions to ask and having background knowledge can help people feel more confident and in control about these discussions, which is important for such a major decision.”