So you have a few grey hairs. What of it? The kids have left home, you’re suddenly free to sell up, get rid of the mortgage and live life on your terms. Carpe diem!

We often view the past nostalgically when we should be looking ahead to a rich and rewarding future.

And when it comes to an exciting future, empty-nesters have the market cornered.

Think about it. You’ve spent decades (yes, decades) of your life working hard to build a career, pay off a home loan and raise a family. For many Australians that often means putting what you would like to do on the back burner.

That’s not to say raising kids isn’t an awesome experience – far from it. But when your children have left home (or are close to it) it’s time to start living life on your own terms. And downsizing can be your ticket to living the life you want to enjoy.

Embrace the next stage of your life

When our kids have grown up, we reach a new stage of life. And what a stage it can be, with greater freedom to socialise, enjoy leisure time and explore new sports or hobbies.

In fact, many empty-nesters find the only thing they lack is the time to fit it all into their day.

And that’s where downsizing your home can help.

Downsizing can be the lynchpin that lets you make the most of your new empty nester lifestyle. It’s a chance to pay off whatever is left on your mortgage and enjoy debt-free living. It is also an opportunity to refocus your lifestyle on you and your preferences – no matter whether that means being closer to cafes and restaurants, or relishing a coastal lifestyle alongside your favourite fishing spot.

Downsizing a home is also a golden opportunity to bypass the time and cost associated with a high maintenance family home. It means more time – and money – to spend on your lifestyle!

Sometimes our lives change unexpectedly. But sometimes we have an opportunity to actively change our lives for the better.

That’s when empty nesters need to think “carpe diem”. Seize the day.

Plan a bright future that offers what you want, embrace the opportunity to downsize and enjoy everything that you’ve worked darn hard for.