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‘Grandlords’ up 11% as older people rent properties to fund retirement

7th May 2013 Print
Canal du Midi

It’s a fact, we’re living longer. Average life expectancy in the UK is now 80 years according to the World Health Organisation (2010) and with better standards of living and medical advances, this is only going to increase.

But living for longer also comes at a price, £12,000 a year to be precise according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation who calculated in 2012 that this was the annual income required for pensioner couples to fully participate in UK society.

For those who want more from their golden years than eating out once a month and holidaying away from home once a year on a half-board coach-tour package, extra funds must be found but from where?
According to many experts, the ‘pension time bomb’ is ticking ever louder despite individuals saving more and as the cost of buying a retirement income has gone up, many in the UK are set to fall short of the £231 weekly minimum target. In fact according to the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), 48% of all workers are planning to work beyond the state pension age because they simply cannot afford to retire.

Danny Silver, Managing Partner of The Villages Group, active living resort for 50s+ in France, comments, “Long gone are the days of final salary schemes and relying on a decent state pension once you hit retirement. Older people who’ve worked hard all their lives and want to retain a decent standard of living must find the extra funds themselves but with living costs rising faster than salaries not to mention falling annuity rates, this is easier said than done.
“For 20% of people (ONS) property investment is the key and we are seeing increasing numbers of retiree landlords or ‘Grandlords’ looking to take advantage of the UK rental market and boost their income.”
Indeed the latest research by Saga revealed an 11% rise in the number of ‘Grandlords’ last year and a marked 33% increase since 2009. There has also been a particular increase in female pensioners renting out property, with a growth of 12% in 2012 and 43% since 2009.
One trend which Danny and his team at The Villages is seeing from these retiree landlords is that they are using their buy to let income to fund a cheaper life abroad. France in particular, a short hop across the Channel, is proving a popular choice as it’s well known for its high quality of life, lower living costs not to mention rich culture, gastronomy and stunning landscapes.
Perfectly suited for ‘Grandlords’ and other active 50+s is Le Village Canal du Midi in Languedoc. Offering luxurious, one-level eco homes set in the idyllic French countryside from around £200,000, Le Village owners will be able to enjoy special membership to the stunning nearby golf course and free bicycle hire as well as tennis, archery, aerobics, sailing and swimming all on-site.
For more information, visit

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Canal du Midi