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Being dependent on family not acceptable to Over 65s

- 89 per cent of people over 65 do not consider moving in with their family an option if they require extra care during retirement
- Only three per cent of Over 65s plan to move in with their family during retirement
- Of the Over 65s that have changed their living arrangements since retirement, only four per cent have moved in with family members
- Not a single respondent considered support from their family the primary source of retirement income

‘Don’t mother me’ is what the over 65s are telling their families, according to research released today by Hanover Housing Association.

The nationwide survey questioned over 2,000 working and retired adults. The results challenge the perception that older people want to be taken care of by – or even near to – their families during retirement.

When faced with the prospect of requiring extra care in later life, 89 per cent of Over 65s do not consider moving in with their family as an option. If life goes to plan, only three per cent intend to move in with their family. Of those whose living arrangements have changed since retirement, only four per cent moved in with family members.

One reason why so many Over 65s want to live independently may stem from children living with their parents for much longer periods than in the past. Those born in 1970 are twice as likely to still be living at home at age 30 than those born in 1958.

Perfectly capable pensioners

Hanover’s research offers a radically new perception of the Over 65s. Attempts by families to infantilise their older relatives are being shrugged off by perfectly capable pensioners. They now have a variety of options rather than reliance on their families for care during retirement. They are demanding an autonomous lifestyle and independent living. Nearly three fifths (57 per cent) of Over 65s who change their accommodation during retirement enhance their independence by moving into smaller, more manageable homes. Over two fifths (41 per cent) move to entirely new areas and eight per cent even move to larger homes to enjoy their independence.

For the first time ever the demographic pyramid is turning on its head. The number of people aged over 65 is forecast to outnumber the Under 16s by 2014. The Over 65s are a mobile, active and often overlooked market force. Since retirement:

- More than two in five people (42 per cent) buy new cars;
- Almost half (46 per cent) purchase holidays; and
- Over a third (34 per cent) invest in home improvements.

To attain their independent lifestyle, Over 65s need money. Interestingly not a single respondent to the Hanover survey considered support from their family as their primary source of retirement income. Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of those who had spent money on holidays, cars and their home had been able to fund them through personal savings, while over half (55 per cent) expect their retirement income to cover essential expenditures, including occasional extras such as holidays.

Living to Work, Not Working to Live

If they need extra cash, most Over 65s (77 per cent) consider part time work during retirement. Surprisingly financial need is far from the primary reason that Over 65s continue working during retirement. Nearly eight out of ten (79 per cent) of those who continue to work post-retirement do so because they want to, not because they have to.

John Gatward, Hanover’s Group Chief Executive, said: “There are no longer any rules to retirement living. Over 65s are mobile, active, independent and a significant market force. The fact that they are choosing to work during retirement is a clear indicator that people want to maintain a good quality of life. Older people should not compromise on the things that matter most to them – their independence and personal space.”


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Editors’ Notes:

About the survey:
- The ‘Homes through the Ages’ survey was conducted by BMRB’s ACCESS division which questioned 2,268 working and retired adults, aged 45 plus, to help understand people’s attitude’s to home and finance as they get older.

About Hanover Housing Association:
- Founded in 1963, Hanover is a not-for-profit organisation and was the first housing association to build, manage and maintain sheltered housing for older people on a national basis.
- Hanover offers flexible and imaginative solutions to the changing needs of older people for housing and support.
- Hanover Housing Association manages over 10,500 rented properties owned by the Group on over 370 estates throughout England. It also manages more than 500 homes on behalf of other organisations including almshouses and charitable trusts.

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