Planning for retirement often centers around retirement homes in Rockford, with some retirees determined to stay put, and others happy to downsize, upsize, release equity or even up sticks to a new-build development.

Whatever your decision, there are plenty of pitfalls to watch out for and simple ways to ensure that your retirement is a golden one.


How much do retirement homes cost?

With an ageing population looking for affordable housing, an increasing number of developers will be hoping to cash in on housing retirees. Retirement homes in Rockford are not to everyone’s liking but they can offer buyers the chance to remain independent, yet benefit from a wide range of services. Prices start from $198,000 for one bedroom apartments and $241,000 for two-bed apartments. The development offers services such as cleaning, laundry, meals and hairdressing. Staff are on-site all day, every day, for residents with care needs, and each flat has features such as arthritis-friendly taps and emergency pull-cords.


What are the modes of payment?

Under most shared-ownership arrangements the developer charges rent on the proportion it owns, but with this deal there is no rent payable on the 25 per cent. But there are other costs, including a service charge which could cost from $400 per month, and tax, which starts from around $123 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. Also, there may be restrictions when selling. If you have managed to buy more shares and own the property outright, you are free to sell on the open market.

When buyers die, they can leave the property to a relative who can live there if they are over 55, but must sell if not.  Again, it’s vital to find out exactly what you’re getting yourself into. At Rockford, buyers wishing to move out can sell their home back to the firm, less the percentage involved to remarket the property. But you may find there are issues with the resale value – your home may only appeal to a very limited number of potential buyers and there may be developer’s restrictions on who you can sell to.

Equity release is yet another option for retirees. Equity-release schemes fall into one of two types; lifetime mortgages and home reversion schemes. With the former, you borrow part of your property’s value and pay interest on that amount which you only pay back when you die or sell your home. With home reversion schemes, you sell a percentage of your home, for less than it is worth, but you can stay put for the rest of your life. When you die, or sell the property, the equity release provider keeps its share as repayment.

So, if you handed over 20% of your home, it takes 20% of the sale price. The big problem is that you can’t benefit from full property price growth and, as you no longer own your retirement homes in Rockford, it cannot be passed on directly to any children or grandchildren.