How your home can help fund your retirement

How your home can help fund your retirement
With the state retirement age being raised higher an alarmingly frequent rate, many people are unhappy with the idea of having to work for longer than they had bargained for. 

If you don’t want to wait until you can draw your state pension, you may be wondering what else you can do to pay your way (and perhaps even enjoy life!) without having to work for longer than you might have anticipated. 

How your home can fund your retirement

There are two obvious ways in which you could use your home to fund your retirement: equity release, and downsizing. These options are popular and appeal to many people, though with equity release you will leave less inheritance for your loved ones to enjoy (that said, you may well consider that a price worth paying for a more comfortable life after having worked hard for all those years). 

Downsizing may be a more viable option, particularly if your current home may feel too large to manage comfortably as you age. You can always store excess furniture and furnishings in a self-storage unit if you think that they may be of use to your children or grandchildren at some point in the future, particularly if your belongings are of good quality and worth keeping. 

Other ideas

The last two options represent the road best travelled, as it were. But there are other ways in which you could put your home to use when considering how to finance your retirement. 

1. Property sharing with friends

This is an option that is growing in popularity. Traditionally, when tasks like gardening or shopping, decorating or high-level cleaning became a bit much for an older person, they would hire people to help, or social services could arrange home help. 

More recently, people have been turning to house sharing arrangements with family or friends. The family member or friend moves in, usually rent-free, and this helps them to save their money for a deposit for their own house, or just to live more affordably. The older person gets a live-in helper who can do those jobs that have become more difficult to accomplish unaided, without having to pay hefty hourly rates. An added benefit to this arrangement is that it also combats loneliness for all concerned.

2. Rent out a room

If you have a spare room, you could consider taking in a lodger. You could do so at an agreed reduced rent if you wanted help with some of the household tasks above: if you live in a university town, there will be plenty of students who would appreciate renting a room at a lower rate in exchange for helping around the house. 

Or, if you don’t need the extra help, just charge the market rate and benefit from a considerable extra income. You can earn up to £7,500 per year tax free through the Rent a Room scheme. You would be a type of landlord, so you would have certain responsibilities towards your tenant, and they could acquire rights such as a right to adequate notice to leave, but you can find more advice here

With either of the above options, you will also have the benefit of someone being in your home if you go away on holidays, keeping your home safe and providing you with extra peace of mind.

3. List your home or a room on

Airbnb is a great way to make some money from your spare room or from your entire home. If you plan to do a lot of travelling and know that your home will be empty for several weeks each year, you could list it as available for those dates and people looking for somewhere to stay in your area (whether they’re on holiday or working nearby) can pay to stay there while you’re away. 

Most guests would expect personal possessions such as clothes to be removed from your property or put away out of sight. They will also expect to be able to use the wardrobes and cupboards for their own belongings: this way, your property will be more appealing and you will attract more guests through good reviews. You can use a self storage unit to keep your possessions clean, safe and dry until you return.

4. Rent out a parking space or garage

If you live somewhere where parking is an issue because it is expensive or scarce (e.g. in town centres, near airports or railway stations), you could earn a decent income from renting out your garage or driveway (assuming you don’t need it for yourself!). 

5. Make use of your garden

With land at a premium price, if you have a large garden you could consider obtaining planning permission for property to be built on the land and then offer it for sale. You would, of course, need to tolerate building work for a few months, and you would have additional neighbours when the property was constructed, but you can earn thousands from this type of venture. Plus, you won’t have such a large garden to maintain.

6. Sell clutter on eBay

When you retire, you’ll have time to declutter and get your home looking just as you want it. You can give away excess belongings to charity, or you can make some extra cash by selling them on sites like eBay.

7. Rent out office space 

If you have a spare room, shed or outbuilding, you could look into kitting it out as an office and renting it out like that. Many start-up companies and entrepreneurs are looking for office space in desirable locations that are close to amenities, transport links and a customer base, and your home might be ideally located for them.

8. Make your home famous!

Film and TV production companies are always on the lookout for houses to use as sets. Check out sites such as The Collective for details.

Enjoy your retirement, however you fund it. You’ve worked hard for it and deserve to make the most of it.If you need self storage space to keep your belongings safe until you need them again, we can provide you with a secure unit at a low, weekly price for as long as you need it during your retirement.

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