The average over 50 is sitting on the equivalent of £56,574 worth of unused space in their home.

A study of 2,000 adults over 50 found that after their offspring have flown the nest, the older generation are left with 34 square metres of empty space in their homes which isn’t always utilised.

With a typical house size of 165.6 square metres and the average house price coming in at £276,393, each square metre equates to the value of £1,669.

As a result of having this vast space with typically two unoccupied rooms, two fifths said their house feels emptier now their grown-up children have moved on.

But after two years and seven months of their property going untouched, many seize the opportunity and transform this space into a personal gym, office or even the craft room they’ve always dreamed of.

Mark Gregory, founder and CEO of Equity Release Supermarket, which commissioned the research, said: “Our survey found there is plenty of space in the family homes of empty nesters which is going to waste, and it’s not just space – but possible financial wastage.

“There tends to be fond memories and a certain amount of nostalgia linked to a property, so it’s difficult for people to say goodbye to a family home.

“One option for empty nesters to raise equity is to simply sell the family home and down-size.

“However, with a reluctance to say goodbye to all those memories, many, incorrectly believe that downsizing is the only way to release their financial security tied up in a property, when the reality is that equity release can be an alternative solution.

“The research highlighted that many over 50s are effectively sitting on thousands of pounds of wasted space and – with the aid of equity release – could be used to ease people’s financial situation, enhance retirement or enable them to explore various other opportunities in later life.”

The study also revealed a third of over 50s are planning to give money to their offspring in their later years.

A fifth plan on bestowing some of their wealth on their grandchildren, while 38 per cent dream of luxurious locations and spending their money on holidays to make the most of their retirement.

However, despite a willingness to spend their stockpile in later life, half of those surveyed said they are worried about their financial future.

Although the average over 50 has £18,113 sitting in their bank account, a third of respondents have less than £7,500 in savings leaving them with a smaller safety net beyond their pension or other assets.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, also revealed one in 10 are considering dipping into their pension pot early to support their lifestyle, while 15 per cent are debating selling some of their belongings.

Of those who are yet to retire, respondents reckon it will be eight years before they’re able to enjoy a leisurely life and so a fifth are thinking of retiring later than planned.

Just 12 per cent are considering taking out equity in their property to stabilise their financial future, compared to a third who have contemplated downsizing.

And they believe it will be just five years before doing any one of these things in a bid to prevent them from living on the breadline.

Mark Gregory, from Equity Release Supermarket added: “Many people don’t understand the features and benefits of equity release as a possible solution to support retirement.

“Therefore, taking equity out on their home is not always the first port of call, and they end up opting for alternatives that may not be the best option to suit their circumstances.”

“Whilst it’s not the only option to raise capital for an enhanced retirement, equity release could be beneficial and should always be considered with the right financial advice.”

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