House, holiday and kids - top retirement aspirations for homeowners over 40 revealed

  • Home and garden improvements trump day-to-day living expenses as top retirement priority for over a third (36%) of homeowners over 40
  • Nearly one in four (24%) said a holiday of a lifetime was on the cards
  • Children and grandchildren also a priority as almost a quarter (23%) said they would help them onto the property ladder


Research1 from Canada Life today reveals the top retirement expenditures for homeowners over 40. Over a third (36%) said they would prioritise home or garden improvements, this was closely followed by topping up day-to-day living (32%) and nearly a quarter (24%) said they would pay for a holiday of a lifetime. 


Supporting family members was a priority for a number of homeowners. Almost a quarter (23%) of respondents said they would spend their money on helping children or grandchildren onto the property ladder, and 15% said they would help pay for their children or grandchildren’s education. Achieving financial security was also important for this group of homeowners with 14% saying they would clear an outstanding mortgage and 9% saying they would prioritise paying off any unsecured debts.


Top retirement aspirations


  1. Home / garden improvements for comfort


2.                   Top up day-to-day living


3.                   Pay for a holiday


4.                   Help children / grandchildren onto property ladder


5.                   A new car / caravan


6.                   Pay for children / grandchildren’s education


7.                   Home / garden improvements for safety 


8.                   Clear an outstanding mortgage


9.                   Pay off unsecured debts



To help boost their retirement income to achieve these plans, two fifths (41%) of homeowners plan to access their savings and investments, while a fifth (20%) will take a tax-free lump sum from their workplace pension and 17% will continue working into retirement. 


A number of homeowners said they would use their property to access extra cash with 14% planning to sell their current property and downsize, and 12% considering releasing equity from their property. 


Alice Watson, Head of Marketing, Insurance, Canada Life said: “It’s clear that we all have our unique goals for later life, and our own way of achieving them, whether that be using savings, pension or property wealth. As a result, no one individual’s retirement plan is likely to be the same as someone else’s. 


“Property wealth is growing and increasingly being used alongside other assets as part of a more holistic retirement plan. While equity release is a long-term decision that should always be considered carefully with the right advice, it has a valuable role to play in helping today’s homeowners live the retirement they’ve worked long and hard for. Releasing equity not only allows homeowners to unlock the cash in their homes in a safe and flexible way, it can also help to support their lifestyle choices in later life.”


  1. Source: Research among 1,020 UK homeowners aged 40+ conducted by Opinium Research between 26-31 March 2021.