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The housing debate: What are my retirement options?

Options for retirement housing do remain plentiful but, as is the trend, the sooner the conversation was had, the better.

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The housing debate: What are my retirement options?

In contrast to many other professions, farming remains a largely inherited occupation.

 

And having a home on-farm for the retiring farmer to move into when the successor takes over would help curb any financial and emotional stress.

 

The CLA is calling on Government to support farming families by recognising in planning policy for England ‘that building a new home in the countryside is justified when it will enable a farmer to retire and transfer a farm to the next generation’.

 

Research by the CLA showed the farmer entry rate of 2 per cent over the last five years (2013-2018) was much lower than the exit rate of 18 per cent over the same period.

 

But 84 per cent of respondents said they operated ‘established family farms’ which were responsible for managing 86 per cent of the areas covered in the survey.


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Options for retirement housing do remain plentiful but, as is the trend, the sooner the conversation was had, the better.

 

CLA chief surveyor Andrew Shirley said arranging housing for either the farmer or the next generation was not an easy task.

 

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He said: “We want to start looking at the housing route at the outset because this is going to be the sticking point as people have an emotional attachment to their home.

 

“Farmers tend to work a lot longer than other professions so you want to have a plan in place.”

 

Things to think about include the chance the successor will want to live in the farmhouse and, if so, where will the parents live?

Are there opportunities to convert a farm building or to build another dwelling on-farm? What about buying in the local area?

 

Mr Shirley urged farmers not to let their home become an obstacle in any succession decision.

 

“It is about taking a longer-term view about the housing you want,” he said. “Quite often there is no quick fix and it requires a lot of thought prior to retiring.

 

“Do you want a once-in-forever move, or do you want to live in a house for a couple of years and then downsize?

 

“All this is relevant, no matter how you choose to provide your retirement home. It takes quite a while to achieve that.”

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