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&#39Don&#39t rely on retirement home&#39

Millions of people are relying on the value of their home for income in retirement, according to research from Birmingham Midshires.

It is warning that a fall in house prices could hit retirement plans and says people should not rely solely on property.

Sixteen per cent of people say they plan to release capital from their home. Fourteen per cent plan to move to a smaller house while 12 per cent plan to leave the UK to retire abroad.

Twenty-one per cent plan to bolster savings by moving to a job with a higher salary or seeking a rise. Thirteen per cent plan to work after 65.

Marketing product manager Richard Brown says: “With property prices rising in the last few years, people are clearly looking to the capital in their home to provide extra income for retirement. But people should not rely on property alone. A fall in house prices could be devastating for those without other schemes to fall back on.”

Conservative MP David Willetts has added his voice to the concerns raised by Midshires. He says: “Labour is failing people who used to expect a decent income in retirement. Pension scheme closures have forced people to look elsewhere. Currently high property values may lead people to think that they can cash in to get a better income but this route is not open to all and it carries significant risks.”

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