You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

There’s no place like home

Posted on 11 September 2018

The saying “there’s no place like home” really is true. But what does home mean to you? Is it your safe haven, the only place where you can shut away from the world, or where your most treasured memories belong?

What does home mean to you?

Well, home means different things to different people.

It could simply be the place where you live that puts a roof over your head and keeps your belongings safe. Or it could mean so much more - it’s the place where you feel safe, secure and accepted.

Whatever home means to you, it’s likely to be one of the most important things in your life. It’s where you spend a great deal of your time, it’s filled with memories, and it becomes a reflection of you – your personality, lifestyle and experiences.

photos hanging on the wall

So, why move home in later life?

When you get older and your children have flown the nest, downsizing can seem like a logical option - almost half of over 55s (44%) state they would choose to downsize for a more comfortable life.*

For some, downsizing can be a practical solution in later life. A smaller home can be more manageable in terms of cleaning and it can also be cheaper for bills and other day-to-day running costs too.

Plus, if you think you need more money in retirement, buying a cheaper property is a straightforward way to free up cash.

Although, it’s worth considering that downsizing can be costly with the average cost of moving, including legal fees, stamp duty and removal fees, estimated at £10,210.

chalkboard on a desk

What alternatives are there?

The thought of moving house in later life can be a real emotional wrench – especially if you’ve lived there for a number of years and your children have grown up there.

It’s no wonder, then, that some people find it hard to imagine living anywhere else, even if there are things they’d like to change around the house.

If your home is too precious to leave, it’s good to know that there are alternatives to packing up and starting again. Let’s take a look at some possible options.

Repurpose your rooms

If your children have moved out and have left behind a spare room or two, these spaces can feel like a waste and an extra burden on cleaning. But why not consider them a blank canvas and give them a new purpose?

You could transform a spare room into a bedroom for a grandchild. If you’ve taken up a new hobby (like painting), this could be your own private space. Or if you’ve always wanted to bring in the treadmill from the garage, you could create your own at-home gym.

When you repurpose your empty rooms, looking after them won’t feel like such a chore – and you’ll give your home a new lease of life.

Adapt your home

If you’re struggling to move safely around certain parts of the home, or you’re thinking ahead to when this might be the case, you could make minor modifications to boost your confidence.

Bathroom adjustments are popular – from non-slip mats and grab rails all the way through to walk-in showers and wet rooms. Updating flooring to prevent slips and adding lighting to entrance ways can also be helpful.

These smaller home improvement investments may make moving to a more accessible property unnecessary.

Equity release

If you’re less worried about having too much extra space and making your home more accessible, and more concerned about boosting your finances, it could be worth considering equity release.

Equity release allows you to unlock a tax-free lump sum from your home without losing ownership of it (with a lifetime mortgage). You don’t need to make monthly payments during your lifetime and the money is paid back through the sale of your home, when you die or move into long-term care.

With the cost of living reaching its highest level in five years in 2017, finding a way to live securely and comfortably post-retirement is more important than ever. Downsizing is an option many consider. But, if there’s no place like home, why leave it?

*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). 

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.