And plans to get married are also thwarted by the inflation peak.
A survey commissioned by insurer Aviva showed that eight out of ten households have put plans to improve their living environment on the back burner.
Being put on the long finger due to the cost crisis is also saving for a pension.
But despite the impact of inflation, some people are continuing with plans to upgrade their homes.
Others plan to keep trying to buy a house or apartment this year, even as house prices continue to rise.
And others continue with plans to move back home.
The survey of 1,000 people, conducted by iReach, shows that one in five hopes to buy a home or retire this year.
But cost-of-living challenges showed that a quarter of homeowners surveyed who planned to make some big changes have now decided to postpone some of them this year.
Another one in five has postponed all major plans altogether.
The study found that those aged between 45 and 54 are the most likely to postpone their plans because of inflation and the financial uncertainty it brings.
Aviva’s Billy Shannon said there was no doubt that the lingering fear over the rising cost of living has made people think twice.
“Many have not only put their plans on hold, but some have even cut them from their 2023 calendar altogether to accommodate rising interest rates, rent, energy and food bills.
“It costs a lot more to fill the cart or to heat a house than it did 12 months ago this time and it’s understandable that people are cautious about their finances because they don’t know when this storm will be over.”
The survey found that about 65 percent of those surveyed put off plans to improve their home.
This rises to 83% for people with their own home.
Nearly three in ten are hesitant to buy or move into a new home.
One in five over-55s is postponing retirement.
Mr Shannon said: “People are even putting off some important milestones such as buying a house, retiring, having a baby and getting married.
“Many people just don’t feel comfortable starting the next chapter of their lives, possibly out of fear that they won’t have the financial resources to support themselves in the future.”
Meanwhile, separate research from the Bank of Ireland shows that debit and credit card spending fell 7 percent in April compared to spending in March.
This means that the spending increases recorded by the Bank of Ireland Spending Pulse in the first quarter of the year eased.
Overall, April’s spending data painted a relatively subdued picture across many business sectors, with retail spending down 7% and social spending down 5%.
Despite Easter falling in April and the hint of a beautiful summer ahead after the wettest March on record, pub spending fell 6 percent and fast food spending fell 5 percent.
Spending on restaurants rose slightly, but there was better news for movie theater hotel owners and tourist attraction managers as they saw higher spending.