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Stress versus sentiment: The real reasons why you don’t want to move home

Posted on 10 September 2018

No matter how old we are, moving house is one of the most stressful things we’ll ever do. But what about the emotional side of leaving the home we love?

Moving house is one of life's most stressful experiences

Buying and selling, dealing with estate agents and solicitors, keeping on top of the paperwork, deciding which possessions to keep and getting rid of the rest – if you’ve ever moved house before, you’ll know that it can bring major disruption to your life.

It’s actually thought to be one of the most stressful events in life – along with divorce and dealing with the death of a loved one. Energy company E.ON suggests the stress can last around three months.

So, why bother moving house?

Well, when you have a lot to gain by moving house, it’s well worth the effort. It might be that moving home allows you to move in with a partner or take up a new job. Perhaps it gives you a fresh start or creates more space for the children or grandkids to run around in.

Everyone has their own reasons for moving to a new home. And our reasons change as we get older. For example, 18 to 24 year olds are the most likely to move to advance their career. And 25 to 34 year olds are the most likely to move because they need more space for their growing family.

Those aged 55+ are the most likely to move to downsize and release some equity from the home that they would have bought many years ago. With the increase in house prices and cleared mortgages, many over 55s are asset rich and cash poor - which is why they use their house for financial security later in life. Whether it’s to clear debts, make home improvements or top up their pensions, this generation of home owners is benefiting from the investment they made some time ago.

But moving from the home you love can also come with a huge emotional cost – particularly if you’ve spent many happy years there or it’s the place where your children grew up.

grandfather and grandchild playing a game together

Sometimes, the sentimental loss is too great

Without knowing, we all like familiarity, routine and order. But when moving house, we lose all of these (albeit temporarily). This kind of change can have longer-term impacts on the rest of our life – after all, it’s not just moving from one home to another, you might also find yourself in a new area where you don’t know anyone.

Also, our homes are where we feel our happiest, our safe haven, the place where we always belong. Every little detail around our home reflects our personality, life events, families and all that’s changed over the years- it’s our history.

Dismantling all of that personal history isn’t easy. We all become sentimentally attached to our homes, especially as we get older. And it can be worth bearing this in mind when considering moving home.

What’s the right decision for you?

Moving home in later life can be a positive change and downsizing to boost your finances can give you the money you need for a more comfortable retirement. If you feel that moving is the right thing for you, there’s plenty of advice available to help you reduce the stress involved.

However, if you have deep emotional ties with your home and can’t imagine living anywhere else, there are other ways to free up cash for retirement while remaining in your home.

Equity release allows you to borrow money from the value of your house, giving you tax-free cash to spend on whatever you wish. You won’t even have to make monthly payments during your lifetime. Instead, the sum (plus interest) will be repaid from the proceeds of your house sale, with any surplus going to your family or wherever you choose in the usual way.

Anyone who’s ever moved house will agree it’s one of the most challenging life events to go through, both physically and emotionally. So, to make sure it’s the right decision for you: check out our equity release guide.

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). 

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, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). 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 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.