Experiencing an empty nest and wondering if you should scale down your living space for retirement? If downsizing your home for retirement is an idea you wish to pursue, then continue reading.
Downsizing has a number of profitable, comfort and low maintenance benefits for your senior years. Instead of focusing on the upkeep of a property, you can spend your energy doing the activities you enjoy, spending more time with the people you love, and more than likely experiencing a more stress-free life.
From planning to the final stage, read on for a few tips on how you can successfully downsize for retirement.
1. Assess Your Goals for Retirement
The first step you need to take when considering downsizing your home for retirement is to write out your goals; what you would like your retirement to look like and what is possible.
Evaluate your current financial position and future goals by asking the following questions:
- How much money do I have to retire on?
- Do I have any income coming in (business, rental, etc.)?
- How much money do I want to spend on monthly payments?
- Can the sale of my current house pay off a smaller home?
- Will the new home cost less in insurance, rates and utilities?
After assessing your current and future financial status, you can then contemplate your lifestyle goals for retirement. To help you make the right decision, ask yourself the following questions:
- Which area do I want to live in, perhaps near the beach or the country?
- What climate is best suited for me, warmer or cooler?
- Do I want to live close to my family and/or friends?
- Do I want to live in a secure estate, join a retirement community, and have access to included amenities?
2. Consider Real Estate Costs
Many homeowners don’t realise all the costs associated with buying and selling property. Apart from the sale and asking price, there are additional fineprint fees you need to look out for.
As you will be retiring and would prefer no surprise amounts, it’s imperative to make yourself aware of all costs involved.
When selling your current home make sure to settle on the best price for your property and negotiate the commission fees, so that you can get the absolute most out of your sale.
When choosing your new downsized retirement home, remember to research all options available and calculate all costs involved, ensuring that you make the best financial decision.
3. Sort Through Possessions Early
Once you have made the decision to downsize for retirement, it’s time to scale back on your possessions – a smaller place will mean less space.
It’s better to start sorting through everything you own earlier rather than later, as many people underestimate the amount of stuff they have stored away, and how long it will take to sort the keepsakes from the giveaway pile. We would suggest giving yourself 3 or more months to organise your belongings before the move.
When sorting, it’s important to keep the new home in mind; consider how many rooms there are, cupboard space, and if there are any additional storage facilities. You want to avoid the remaining items still not fitting into the new home, or giving away too much and realising you would have had enough space available.
If all the sorting feels too overwhelming, get some help from your family and friends to lighten the load, and take some advice from the decluttering experts out there – find a good book at the store or library, or go online to find some inspiration.
4. Start Packing & Getting Ready for the Move
After you’ve completed sorting through your possessions, with the giveaway pile donated and cleared out of your home, it’s time to begin packing.
To prevent confusion and to help make unpacking easier, you should label each box you pack by clearly indicating which room it belongs to. Then while your boxes are being moved into the new home, they can immediately be taken to the correct room.
When the big moving day is upon you, we urge you not to put your body at such strain that could cause injury. Rally up your children and grandchildren, or call in a moving service to help carry the boxes and furniture.
If you’ve lived in your current house for the longest time – a place where your children have grown up in – remember to take the time to say goodbye and be thankful that this special living space was home to so many great memories. Before pictures are taken off the walls and items removed from the shelves, why not capture some photos of your home to show your grandchildren where you and their parents used to live.
Although you’re having to say goodbye to one place, keep in mind that you’re going to say hello to your new exciting retirement home. This downsized home will be a new space to create wonderful moments in, and will provide you with more financial freedom and time to enjoy the things you want to do (no longer having to keep up with the maintenance of a large home and tend to a back garden).
If you’re looking for an exceptional place to downsize and retire to, De Plattekloof Lifestyle Estate offers assisted living suites , luxury retirement apartments and conveniently-sized homes , along with 24-hour state-of-the-art security, on-site healthcare facilities, as well as a host of estate amenities and social activities.
Contact our sales consultants today at email@example.com for more information.
Kathleen Coxwell, “Downsizing for Retirement: 14 Tips for a Happily Ever After” NewRetirement (blog), 16 June 2020
Melody Juge, “10 tips for successful downsizing in retirement” MarketWatch(blog), 10 October 2018