New research from Lloyds Bank has revealed that 45% of parents whose children have 'flown the nest' are planning to stay in their current property, with many doing so because of the strong community ties they've built up over the years. This is despite living in an 'over-sized' house and the fact that downsizing to a smaller property could benefit them financially.
Indeed, while the common picture of an empty nest parent sees them moping around the house and constantly calling their grown-up offspring, this survey shows that 63% of parents are enjoying the newly found space and regained independence. Additionally, 41% say they are financially better off without having kids at home, with 31% travelling more as a result and 6% saying they now have the chance to pursue a lifelong dream.
Despite all these benefits, 26% admit to not enjoying the empty nest lifestyle, while 14% say their home now feels too empty. However, 40% refuse to move due to the community that surrounds them, while 28% say they need the extra space to look after grandkids, 20% feel reluctant to leave a home full of memories and 29% say that moving is simply too much of a hassle.
A further 32% are financially comfortable, so they say they have no reason to downsize. For those that are not as comfortable, Lloyds' research found that downsizing from a three-bedroom home to a flat or bungalow can result in an extra £109,659 on average.
This can certainly go a long way to helping those 45% seeking to downsize to reduce bills, the 40% who want to downsize to reduce their monthly outgoings, and the 10% who can no longer afford to live in a bigger home. Downsizers seem to be pretty savvy about moving as well, with 37% planning to invest the extra funds in financial products such as a stocks & shares ISA, while 34% would add them to their pension funds.
Those that really don't want to move can do what 2% of empty nesters have done and rent out their spare bedrooms, or they can look into equity release as a means of gaining some extra funds. This can support home improvements, such as 43% of survey respondents have made, or add funds to retirement, and will see people able to stay in their home for their rest of their life.
Whether you're looking to downsize or stay in your house and consider equity release, it's always a good idea to discuss your options with an independent expert
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