25 April 2016, 01:00

Over 50s splash the cash on their home in retirement

• Retirement kick starts desire for home improvement
• Eight out of ten people have improved their home in retirement
• Most common alterations are new bathrooms, kitchens and redeveloped gardens
• Average spend on home improvements is around £17,000
Hanging up their work boots seems to be a trigger for many retired people to transform their house into their dream home. Perhaps because they finally have time to get to grips with a new project, eight out of ten people say they have redecorated or renovated their home since retiring, according to research by Saga Home Insurance*.

The poll of more than 7,000 retired over 50s shows that on average people complete three home improvement projects when they give up their 9-to-5 job. While some people redecorated (55%), four out of ten say they had a new bathroom fitted (38%) and more than a third install their dream kitchen (36%).

As well as modernising their home, new retirees also create some personal space so they have somewhere to go to enjoy some ‘me’ time. One in eight turn a spare room into an office or workshop and 3% create a games or hobby room.

Other alterations include building a conservatory (11%), extending the house (7%) or adding a porch (5%). Those increasing the size of their property may fill their home with more possessions so it is important people review their insurance to make sure all their contents are covered.

Perhaps making the most of the pension freedoms, people spend a pretty penny improving their property once they hit retirement. While on average people spend £17,000 improving their home, one in eight say they have spent more than £25,000 creating their dream home since stopping full time work.

However, it’s not just inside the home that gets a new lease of life when people give up the daily grind. One in three say they have completely redeveloped their garden costing them around £3,000 on average.

Saga recognises that many people make home improvements when they retire and that not every job goes to plan. If a customer has had up to £20,000 of work carried out that they are not happy with and they have a dispute with a tradesman they can claim for legal help on their home insurance policy if they have legal expenses cover.

Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive of Saga Services, commented: “Throughout our lives we spend time and effort to make our house a home, however it can be hard to manage and oversee big home improvement projects when you’re working full time. However, it’s a good idea to let your insurer know before you start any home alterations so you can make sure you’re covered both during the works and beyond.”


Notes to Editors
*Populus interviewed 8,854 people aged 50 over, online between 21st and 28th March 2016. 7,502 respondents are retired or partially retired. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Infographic available on request

Most common home improvements in retirement % of people
Decorated a living room/study/hallway 55%
Decorated a bedroom 53%
New bathroom 38%
New kitchen 36%
Renovated the garden 32%
Turned a room into an office/workshop 13%
New conservatory 11%
House extension 7%
Built a porch 5%
Created a games/hobby room 3%

Number of home improvement projects % of people who have made home improvements since retiring
1 14%
2 17%
3 16%
4 14%
5 or more 19%

Home Alteration (by most common) Average spend (£)
Decorate a living room/study/hallway £1,200
Decorate a bedroom £757
New bathroom fitted £5,134
Renovated their garden £2,608
Fitted a new kitchen £13,242



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