An estimated three million over-50s plan to relocate as a direct result of the pandemic, according to Legal & General Retail Retirement.
In 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that people of retirement age in England were already leaving major urban areas and moving to rural areas.
The data demonstrated that Dorset, Shropshire and Wiltshire were retirement migration hotspots, while England’s largest cities saw net outflows of retirement age residents, with London, Birmingham and Bristol seeing the largest number of exits.
Biggest barrier to homeownership is earnings
Nearly a year on, Legal & General’s research has found that the pandemic has influenced many over-50s to plan a move.
Over-50s want to relocate to somewhere that offers a better quality of life (7%), to move close to friends and family (4%) or to live abroad (3%).
When planning a move, many over-50s have considered how the value of their current home plays a role in their long-term plans.
According to Legal & General, 1.3 million pre-retirees aged over 50 (9%) saw themselves as more likely to turn to their property wealth to fund their lifestyle than before the pandemic.
Claire Singleton, chief executive of Legal & General Home Finance, said: “Relocating in retirement was already a well-observed trend, with older people reprioritising their needs as they enter the next stage of their life.
“As with many aspects of our lives, the challenges of the pandemic seem to have led many people to take stock of their current living situation.
“There can be many benefits to relocation, whether it is a better quality of life, more space or even the opportunity to be closer to loved ones.
“One thing that is clear is that many people will also see their decision informed by how their property wealth factors into their long-term financial planning.”