30% of over 55s never reclaim their kids’ room after they move out

Michael Lloyd

February 6, 2019

Some 30% of 55s said they’ll never reclaim their kids’ rooms after they’ve moved out of the family home and 62% would never downsize, SunLife’s Sentiment report has found.

Most (75%) over 55s either never redecorate their kids’ old rooms or wait at least a year, but one in 50 wait less than 24hours.

Simon Stanney, equity release service director at SunLife, said: “We know that keeping the home in the family is really important to people, and this research backs that up.

“It is common for parents to want their grownup kids to be able to come back to the family home, and nearly a third feel so strongly that they even keep their child’s old bedroom for them even though they’ve moved out.”

Of those that do redecorate their kid’s rooms, less than half (46%) wait at least a year, with one in 14 waiting at least six years before doing anything new with their children’s old bedrooms.

The most common uses for a child’s old room once they have moved out is a guest room, with more than a third (34%) of those who have redecorated saying they have used their kids’ old room for that purpose.

Overall, one in 10 use their children’s old room for grandkids and of those over 55s with grandchildren, 61% said they are most likely to dedicate their spare room to their grandchildren.

Stanney added: “Most of our respondents have been in their homes for at least two decades, and it is understandable that they want to stay there, because there’s no place like home.

“Our research shows that almost a third never redecorate, but those that do are most likely to redecorate the room as a guest room, most likely one specifically dedicated to their grandchildren. This further highlights the importance of the family home.”

The research also supports the fact that, despite over 55s being a ‘property rich, cash poor’ generation who could free up a lot of cash by downsizing, 62% said they would never downsize.

Stanney said: “On average, people over 55 have seen their homes increase in value by around £135,000, so for people over 55 who own their own home and are looking for a cash lump sum but don’t want to leave the family home, unlocking some of the value in their homes via equity release rather than by moving, could offer a solution.”

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