Are you wondering if you’re ready to move into a retirement village or land lease community? It’s a big decision and not one to rush, but there can be many benefits to making the switch, and if you find the right place, you may even wish you’d done it sooner. Here are some reasons to make the move.
To release equity from your home
For many of us, our home is our biggest asset, and equity release is hugely appealing if you want to boost your cash reserves rather than having them tied up in property – perhaps to travel, or to help your kids out with buying homes, or to pay off your mortgage and experience less stress when it comes to covering your day-to-day living expenses now that inflation is sending prices soaring.
Selling a large home can also mean swapping more bedrooms and a big garden for an appealing location, perhaps closer to the beach or the city centre.
Selling your home has another advantage – you can put the proceeds of your sale into your superannuation, safeguarding your financial future. We talk more about this in our article about government incentives for downsizers.
To access more help
Some people downsize because they wish to remain independent but need a little more support – perhaps their current home is unsuitable due to mobility issues, or perhaps they feel a little isolated and this worries them. A smaller, more manageable home can mean living independently for as long as possible, even with ongoing health issues. It’s often a matter of knowing when to make the move, and looking into your options early so you can find somewhere that offers necessary support but still feels like your own home.
To simplify your life
There’s no doubt that a large family home is a lot of work – the garden, perhaps the pool, or simply the day-to-day cleaning and maintenance issues that come with an older home.
Downsizing means simplifying – you finally go through your home and get rid of everything you no longer need, free yourself of excess stuff and start living more simply. This is the case for many people whose children have left home, or who are now single and want a smaller space for practical rather than health or age-related reasons.
A smaller home means lower ongoing running costs in heating, electricity and water, and a chance to think about what you really need in your current circumstances, rather than trying to make an old house work for you. Plus, if you buy something modern, you’ll likely have lower running costs thanks to solar panels, and up-to-date fittings such as kitchen drawers rather than cupboards, and a walk-in shower, which makes daily life easier.
Your current home needs work
Another common reason to downsize is that your current home needs some updating, from a coat of paint to modernising the kitchen and bathroom or replacing carpets throughout. Taking on a big renovation project is not something everyone is keen on, particularly with building costs currently so high, and you may make the pragmatic decision to downsize and let the renovations be the new owner’s project (or problem).
Because you want to travel
Another common reason to downsize is so that you have more funds and flexibility to do some travelling. Leaving a big house empty is far more hassle than a lock-and-leave home in a retirement village or land lease community where someone else does the gardening and there are plenty of people about to keep an eye on your property.
Because you’ve gone through a big life change
Although the general rule is to not make any big decisions in the year following a bereavement or other significant life change, you may find that if you’ve lost a spouse, for example, you no longer feel happy living alone in your family home – it feels too big, too lonely or simply unmanageable. Now is the time to think about what is best for your new circumstances, and for many, that means somewhere closer to your family, or a community with more people around, so you don’t become too isolated.
Want to learn more about making the most of your next 30 years?
We’re committed to making life better for the over 55s. Check out downsizing.com.au for more insights and great advice on living life to the fullest.