More than 60% of over-55's are settled in Forever Home

  • Desire to stay has many considering financial options such as working longer (19%), borrowing money (13%) or releasing equity (11%)


More than six in ten (62%) over 55s are living in their forever homes, according to new research from Canada Life today1. This can be equated to over 6.2 million households2, for whom property is becoming an increasingly useful asset to provide income. This desire to stay, along with spiraling care costs and emerging socio-economic factors such as children returning home or older parents moving in, has led some forever homeowners to consider their financial options in order to stay longer in their home. 


One in five (19%) would consider working into retirement if it meant they could afford to stay in their forever home. Another 13% would consider borrowing money from the bank and 11% would consider releasing equity from their property. One in ten (9%) would move family members into their home, and another 9% would be willing to rent out their spare room if it meant they could stay in their forever home.


Key forever home characteristics

The key characteristics of a forever home include having a large garden (38%), access to off-road parking (35%), a large kitchen (35%) and being detached (35%). Having en suite bathrooms (33%) and a garage (31%) are also listed as the key things that homeowners look for, as well as being close to shops and restaurants (28%), being in the countryside (23%) having a study (24%) or a ‘hobby room’ (18%) and being close to children (14%).


However, for most, a forever home is more than something physical. Half (49%) of over 55s say it gives them comfort, 37% feel like a home is their forever home when they’ve made improvements so that it’s the way they want it to be, and for 28%, the most important factor is making memories in the house.


Alice Watson, Head of Marketing, Insurance, Canada Life said:

“For most, our home is our sanctuary, a place where we can escape the hustle and bustle of the world. And that has never been truer than in 2020 when we’ve spent more time inside our home than ever before. The concept of a forever home is also hugely emotive where many have raised their families, hosted Christmases, and most importantly – built their memories.


“As the shape of retirement continues to evolve, some retirees may find themselves unable to stay in their forever homes. They could consider downsizing to fund life after retirement, support family members, or pay for care. However, retirement funding options are also evolving and leaving a forever home does not have to be the first port of call to access income in retirement. Some people recognise that working longer could be the answer, but another option that could be considered is equity release. It presents homeowners with the possibility of staying in their forever home, releasing a proportion of the equity they have built up to support their lifestyle.”



  1. Opinium research of 2002 UK adults, conducted between 8th – 11th September
  2. Canada Life estimate using Government housing data