You’ve worked hard to provide for your family – a big house, good education, fun holidays and more. But now that the kids have all gone off to university, or to start their families, it’s time for you to reward yourself with a better home.
There is a swelling market in Australia of empty nesters who wants to build a home. Maturing families typically look for compact designs with high quality finishing and fixtures. Downsizing is a life changing move that requires careful planning. As you transition into retirement, here are some things to consider before taking your next step.
Choosing Your New Home
You new home should be smaller in size and located near your friends and families. This way it is easier to maintain, and it will be more accessible for your loved ones to visit you. If you intend to stay in this property for good, you should also opt for a single storey design, in case climbing the stairs becomes an issue in the future.
Identifying Your Essentials
With a smaller house, it is important to stay minimal with your possessions. You will have to cull a decade worth of things, some you may take with you, others will go on a garage sale or donated to the charity. According to Marie Kondo, best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising, possessions you keep should “spark joy”. If it doesn’t, thank it for its service and get rid of it.
Remember if you decide to take your existing furniture with you to your new home, make sure the size is suitable for your smaller home.
Understanding Dollars and Cents
Your motivation to downsize should not be about the money because downsizing does not necessarily increase your cash flow. Depending on the location and the inclusions you choose, you may have to prepare extra funds for the new home. Although you will most likely pay less on bills with a smaller house. Note if your move does provide you with extra cash, this can also have an impact on your pension entitlements. This is where you need to consult a financial adviser.
Not sure if you are ready to downsize?
Our suggestion is to organise your current home as if it was much smaller. Lock up unused rooms for a month or two, if you don’t feel the need to use those spare rooms, chances are you will switch to a smaller house quite comfortably. But if you are having trouble coping with the limited space, it is still worthwhile to try and declutter your place.
The last thing to keep in mind is how willing are you to start in a new area and make new relationships. It’s vital to think about every single aspect that comes with downsizing since it is probably going to be the last home you build.