THE UK’s largest bungalow provider is offering what it calls a “financial lifeline” to people trapped in an expensive home and forced to retire early because of Covid.

Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found one in eight workers have changed their retirement plans because of the pandemic.

Its findings follow government data showing that the crisis has halted the rise in over-50s in employment – raising concerns that older people who fall out of work could struggle to re-enter the labour market.

People in their late 50s, and those with a health condition or disability, were the most worried about job security. Almost a third of older workers said their finances had worsened – and they were more likely than the retired to worry about their finances.

Whiteley-based bungalow provider RoyaleLife, which has luxury gated developments across Hampshire and Dorset, offers people the full market value of their existing home when they downsize into one of its older people’s bungalows.

Chief executive Robert Bull said: “One of peoples’ major concerns as they get older is freeing up cash and downsizing to enable them to enjoy a more stress-free retirement.

“The obvious route might be equity release, and while this allows them to stay in their existing home, it can nevertheless be extremely expensive in the long run and seriously affect their children’s inheritance.

“Not only will we enable you to release valuable cash when you downsize, but we will make your move completely hassle free.

“What’s more, as part of the deal, your new bungalow will be luxuriously furnished.

“Quite obviously with bungalows having just one floor, they’re perfect for the older generation and the home is extremely low maintenance so no running repairs or big gardens to maintain.

“With the company’s Home Part Exchange scheme RoyaleLife offers 100 per cent of the current market value of your home.

“So, if your current home is valued at £450,000, and you purchase a RoyaleLife bungalow for £300,000 that will leave you with £150,000 cash.”

RoyaleLife developments locally include Green Pastures at Romsey, Solent Grange in Milford-on-Sea and Wickham Court, Wickham.