Older fellow citizens think little of living in the city. In a recent survey, only around a quarter favored an urban residential area. Seniors dream of completely different living conditions: in the countryside and in a good neighborhood.

This was the result of a representative survey by the opinion research institute YouGov among seniors in all age groups from 60 years. Nevertheless, seniors value an attractive infrastructure. Also important: a quiet and green environment as well as good neighborliness.

Accordingly, 77 percent of those surveyed want short distances to supermarkets and doctors, 64 percent a lot of greenery, 54 percent a lot of quiet and 57 percent a good neighborhood. Seniors clearly rejected multi-generational living: only six percent prefer this form of living. It is possible that there are gaps in information here.

Growing old in your own four walls is the dream of many Germans. But it often collides with financial reality. While 34 percent of those surveyed definitely want to own their own property, 31 percent prefer renting. The personal financial situation is particularly important for the respective preference: around 60 percent of those who answered per rented apartment stated that they did not have the means to own property in old age.

Apartments, houses and commercial properties

The willingness of seniors to move is generally very low. Only 22 percent of respondents plan to move later in life. Even with restricted mobility, almost half of those surveyed (41 percent) reject moving to a barrier-free house. And growing old in a retirement or nursing home is also extremely unattractive for many – most of them want to avoid moving there at all costs. Six percent, on the other hand, prefer to live in an age-appropriate facility in old age.

A look at the corona pandemic, inflation and the war in Ukraine shows that the attitude towards home ownership has not changed for a large majority of 72 percent. And even inflation does not seem to have reached many people: only five percent of those surveyed would use part of their real estate assets for specific everyday expenses – such as increased energy costs.

Overall, the importance of owning a home as a capital investment and the potential of the assets tied up in it are still underestimated, according to the study authors. According to this, 51 percent of the seniors who owned real estate stated that the increase in the value of the property was not important – for 33 percent it was important. In addition, one in five indicated that they would like to free up part of their real estate wealth for other uses.

About the study: The representative survey was conducted in October and November 2022 by the opinion research institute YouGov Germany on behalf of Deutsche Teilkauf GmbH. YouGov Germany conducted online interviews with a total of 1,037 senior citizens aged 60 and over.

Older people have fewer opportunities to increase their wealth. But younger people in particular can do a lot to make their real estate dreams come true later on.

The most important tip: perseverance when investing! There are several possibilities for that.

If you value security, you can save on a fixed-term deposit account. There is currently a good three percent interest on it. The longer the money is fixed, the higher the interest rate rises. But the currently high inflation cannot be compensated for with this. Therefore, savers should choose a fixed deposit with the highest possible interest rate.

Despite all the price turbulence, the following applies: in the long term, the highest returns can be achieved on the stock exchanges.

Investors should not rely on individual values, but diversify their capital widely. And invest as cost-effectively as possible.

This is possible with ETF (“Exchange Traded Funds”). Among them are products that replicate the entire world stock market. This reduces the risk of asset losses as a result of weakening national markets.

Such an ETF is the iShares Core MSCI World UCITS ETF, for example. The ETF reinvests distributions and thus increases the portfolio value. If you do not have large funds, you can conclude a savings contract. This is possible with many direct banks, sometimes even free of charge. Such a contract can be set up from monthly savings rates of ten euros.