The “right” time is the time you decide to make it right.
Retirement or the transition to retirement represents a significant life change that is a catalyst for many to seek a change in lifestyle and living environment. Retirement is an ideal time to assess whether your current home is the best suited for your future or whether downsizing presents a better solution for your longer-term lifestyle plans.
You Travel Often.
When you travel often, you may have all the costs but little of the enjoyment that comes with living in your current home. Not only do you have council rates, utility bills, upkeep and the ongoing costs for maintaining your garden and home, you may also worry about the security of your home while away. Downsizing provides an opportunity to consider purpose-built, low maintenance and lock-and-leave approaches to your home, so you have peace of mind while off exploring the world.
Unsustainable Costs of Living.
Rising utility costs, rates, insurance, repairs and maintenance and the holding costs of maintaining a large home can become unsustainable over time. Increases in living costs become particularly tricky when living on a fixed or even diminishing income. Downsizing provides a real opportunity to reduce and even eliminate certain costs of living. Maintenance costs and utility bills almost always reduce, and in some downsizing situations, you may also have no council rates to pay.
Age in Place.
While your home may have been suitable until now, how appropriate is your residence for your long-term future? With stairs to climb or bathroom fixtures and fittings not suited to your future physical needs, it’s natural to have concerns about the reality of ageing in your current home. Homes for downsizers are often more accessible, feature automation, are designed with your future needs in mind and will ease your fears that you can’t age in your home for longer.
Downsizing is often a key component in planning finances for retirement or during your transition to retirement. If your financial planners are suggesting now is a good time to address your home – then it may be because downsizing makes economic sense. Your primary place of residence is typically sold tax-free, and there may be superannuation or other Government-backed incentives to support your decision to downsize your home.
Change in Relationship.
Changes to relationships from divorce, illness or death are other significant life changes that turn many people’s minds to the idea of downsizing. Downsizing provides an opportunity to reset your life goals, restore finances and live in a home that is better suited to your new and future circumstances.
Asset Rich. Cash Poor.
For many Australians, their home represents their most valuable asset. While “asset rich”, traditional approaches for funding retirement may no longer be sustainable or provide an income stream that is no longer financially viable, especially in an environment of low-interest rates. If you have value in your home and are looking for greater access to cash or to increase your income stream, then it may be time to consider downsizing.
If you’re finding that the stress, cost and physical effort to maintain your current home is becoming overwhelming, then now might be the right time to consider a smaller home. And downsizing doesn’t mean you have to give up on your love of gardening; it just provides an opportunity for you to live in a more manageable and lower maintenance home.
Declutter & Simplify.
It may be that you have reached a point in your life where you want to simplify your life and declutter. You have a more thoughtful mindset and recognise that it’s time to strip aside unnecessary complications and to focus on what brings you joy. Downsizing is not only an opportunity to focus on what really matters but is also a tangible way of being gentler with the planet and reducing your carbon footprint.
When you should have done it sooner!
It is not uncommon for recent downsizers to wish that they had done this sooner. Realising the emotional, physical, and financial benefits of downsizing, they are also aware that they are still young enough to enjoy life and can afford all the new freedoms and opportunities downsizing has to offer.