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The importance of a home team as we get older

Posted on 18 September 2018

Whatever our age, it’s crucial to our well-being to have people around us who care. But do we place more emphasis on having family and friends close by as we get older? And how does the line-up of our home team change over time?

Who’s on the home team?

three generations of family sitting on the sofa

The people on our home team are our rock, our cheerleaders supporting us every step of the journey – whether they’re family members, friends or colleagues.

Among them there’s no doubt the person we call when we’ve got a flat tyre; the person who treats our home like their own; and the person who always knows when something’s wrong.

Collectively, they inspire and motivate us, cheering on our successes while picking up the pieces when things go wrong.

How do these relationships benefit us?

Family and friends have a huge impact on our lives. According to research from the Mental Health Foundation, they contribute to our psychological well-being by helping us cope with stress, react to difficulty and adapt to change, while also encouraging a higher sense of self-worth.

Of course, the more positive interactions and the more support we receive through our relationships, the better. But the important thing is having people we can rely on, for the good times as well as the bad.

Why do our relationships change over time?

According to research, friends become increasingly important to health and happiness as we age. In fact, supportive friendships in older age are shown to be a stronger predictor of well-being than strong family connections. Family ties are still linked to happiness, but their importance stays about the same over a lifetime.

This may be because these friendships have stood the test of time. We’ve let go of less nourishing friendships and invested in those that consistently make us happy, or at least contribute to our wellbeing in some way.

grandmother and granddaughter baking together

At the same time, we usually have fewer demands on our time, with children long moved out and work winding – or fully wound – down. A less busy life allows us to better meet our ideal expectations for friendship.

How does where we live affect our relationships?

We may no longer see colleagues after we retire. And as we get older our friends may move away or sadly die. We all seek to replace these friendships, and involvement in the local community can often make all the difference.

We’re usually more in tune with local goings-on than we realise, whether we support local business or donate to a charity in the area. Perhaps we volunteer as a fundraiser or tutor, supervise the local sports team or belong to a religious group.

Every person we meet through these interactions in some way – however small – helps us go about our day and contributes to a deeper sense of belonging.

This attachment to place is also associated with greater well-being. That’s why many of us find it comforting to stay in the home we’re used to. Research conducted by SunLife shows that 62% of respondents aged 55 and over would prefer to stay in their own home than move*.

After years of living in the same place, it’s good to find new ways to brighten and transform our space with home improvements. A brighter future can mean making our money work better by investing in new ways for an even happier future.

Having a deep connection to people and place inspires happiness. As we get older, it’s also our best bet at staying healthy. Let’s make sure we’re investing our time and energy wisely.

*SunLife, A comfortable retirement – on the house, February 2018

Find out more about The SunLife Over 55 Equity Release Service

For more information and to check your eligibility, call on 0800 633 5566 or request a call back.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services. Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.