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As the nation hunkers down during the lockdown there is no better time to make plans for the future

It will be a difficult time for everyone, but particularly those over 70, who are most at risk of being seriously affected by the virus and most likely to be socially isolated.

Age UK[i] estimates that 2.2 million over the age of 75 live alone and for many, experiencing social isolation and loneliness during the lockdown may prompt them to think about a lifestyle change.

Now is the ideal time to consider future housing options particularly if you are living in a home that is too big for you or no longer suitable.

Perhaps it is time to think about moving to a retirement property.

There are now many housing options available to older people in appealing locations to suit all budgets.

Renting is one.

It may seem an unusual choice for those who have always owned their own home, but it offers the freedom and flexibility to live where you want and free up money tied up in a house.

Girlings offers properties on assured (lifetime) tenancies which gives the same security of tenure as home ownership.

With time on your hands and nowhere to go, this is an ideal time to spring clean and declutter your home and prepare to downsize.

This could be anything from giving the kitchen a lick of paint to clearing the attic.

Renting in a retirement development also gives you the chance to move somewhere you may always have wanted to live such as the seaside, or near family but without the commitment and expense of buying a property.

So this lockdown period can offer valuable time to consider where you would like to live.

While you may not be able to arrange property viewings right now you can still research online.

You can register your interest in a property on Girlings website, or sign up to property alerts here

Vale Court Knaresborough

Girlings has properties in retirement developments throughout the UK to suit all budgets including Vale Court in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire where one-bedroom flats are available from £775 a month and Charles Dickens Court in Portsmouth where one-beds cost from £750 a month.

Most developments have communal lounges and gardens, and many organise weekly social activities such as coffee mornings, bingo and film nights which residents may opt to participate in.

An onsite manager ensures the smooth day-to-day running of the development and there is a 24-hour Emergency careline in all apartments.

For more information on Girlings visit: www.girlings.co.uk

Vale Court

Charles Dickens Court