Property news has always been a staple in what we read here in the UK. From foreign investment to housing bubbles and rising prices, today’s media is awash with a steady stream of news to please and shock in equal measure. However, while maintaining a positive outlook for all demographics in Britain is necessary, one powerful demographic could decide how the future of life in the UK will be shaped: the over 50s. With an ageing population and a lack of housing in general, this group, who will have a prominent influence in how the UK will operate in years to come, have been moved to the side lines. The following five points illustrate the importance of focusing on retirement living now.
Catering for an Ageing population
This October, it was reported that over 50s will account for half the UK’s population as life expectancy is set to increase and the baby boomer generation will all reach pensionable age. More than a quarter of over 55s say that they would like to relocate to a retirement village, however retirement housing makes up only 2.8% of all new homes. As this large group leave the world of work, this in turn will put pressure on the housing market and the younger generations. To save an impending buckling of the country’s property market, those affiliated with care homes and retirement living need to act fast to plan, develop and build. Increasing the amount of retirement housing now will create a more stable framework for ageing Britons for years to come.
A Safety Net for Unprepared Britons
A year-long study recently published its findings on how ill-equipped the average Briton is for retirement. Pension pots for the majority do not meet the needs of the average lifestyle - approximately £23,000 a year. With the average pension pot standing at just over £120,000, savings fall short for many. The results, from a survey of 8,000 Britons emphasize how large sections of the populations will be reliant on the state and its specially built retirement housing.
Meeting the Needs of a Longer Life Expectancy
Thanks to advances in medical science and a comfortable way of life, a 65-year-old man can expect to live until the age of 83 while a woman of the same age can live until 85. Although we are now expected to live longer, the number of single person households is growing, especially for the elderly. Retirement housing should surely be addressed in dealing with the isolation that the older generations now face. Care homes and retirement properties can not only cut down private rent costs, it can also bring a sense of community and worth to those with many years ahead.
Pleasing the Politically Aware
The over 50s demographic of society in the UK holds real political power which should not be ignored. A recent survey conducted for the 50+ brand, High 50, revealed that our older generations are the most politically engaged of all age groups. Not only are they more aware of the political landscape, they also control 79% of the disposable wealth in the UK. A combination of knowledge and money is a recipe which shouldn’t be ignored by those wanted a little extra spending power in the run up to the 2015 election. So, while the need for more retirement housing should be discussed without a political incentive, the leading UK parties may raise the issue prior to the upcoming election to win over these key voters. Whichever party wins over this large demographic of consistent voters may ultimately win power and shape the UK to its own manifesto. Cynical? Maybe. Hard to ignore? Definitely.
Combat Expensive Borrowing
Lack of funds for retirement has led to desperate measures. Many are now borrowing against their properties in order to prop up their pension pots. Property is now classed as one of the most important assets in the UK, an asset which is now being used as a cash injection for later life. Expensive equity release, which should be used as a last resort, is now higher than ever for those in their sixties and seventies. By constructing builds which are more accessible to the elderly will relieve stress that is now associated with retirement for a large proportion of elderly in the UK.
The 5th Annual National Care Homes and Retirement Living Conference will be held on November 26, 2014 in London’s Cavendish Conference Centre. This must-attend event for those operating in, developing in and investing in retirement living in the UK will be addressing the latest headlines, including development and future investment issues in the care homes sector. A superb panel has already been put into place and we are expecting a sell-out event as always. Head to the conference landing page to find out how you can get involved: http://www.carehomesconference.com/