22% of over-65s want a stair lift as part of £10k home adaptations

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Nearly quarter of over-65 homeowners are considering investing in a stair lift as part of wider home improvements to make their houses ready for when they retire.

That’s according to new research that has revealed retired homeowners face average costs of around £10,400 to make their home ‘retirement ready’. And the bill for homeowners who plan to stay in their house throughout retirement will be more than £20,000 for around one in eight.

Key Retirement’s report shows that  around half (49%) of over-65 homeowners have already made improvements to their home so it is more manageable in retirement including adding downstairs bathrooms, additional handrails and stair rails as well as major changes such as stair lifts.

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But another 32% are planning to make changes and face a potential squeeze on retirement income and will have to raid savings to find the money to fund the major changes they need driving growing interest in using property wealth to pay for improvements.

The research found around 29% of those aged between 55 and 64 have invested in improvements to ensure their homes are adapted to their needs when they retire but another 39% are planning to make improvements but have not yet started.

Key’s research shows around 77% are confident they have savings they can use to pay for the planned improvements with equity release seen as the second most popular way of funding home improvements.

Dean Mirfin, chief product officer at Key Retirement, said that nearly two-thirds of equity release customers are using some or all of their property wealth for home and garden improvements highlighting the growing demand across the country.

“Millions want to stay in their homes but often forget the need to adapt a home so it is retirement ready and more comfortable when people are less physically able.

“We should all probably plan ahead but circumstances change rapidly and you may need to take action quickly which can be difficult when the average cost is £10,400 to ensure your home is suitable and your retirement is as comfortable as possible.”

Key’s data shows the average equity release customer is able to access around £70,625 in property wealth to improve their standard of living in retirement while remaining in their home.

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