After retirement, it’s common to think about selling the family home and moving somewhere a little smaller. Downsizing, as it’s called, puts all those empty rooms to use with a new family while also letting you enjoy your golden years in a home better suited to a retired lifestyle.
Moving into a smaller home has a wealth of benefits at any stage of life.
Large family homes, while full of cherished memories aren’t always the best environment for older people. Too large a house can quickly feel immensely lonely once all the kids have moved out, and stairs in multi-storey homes can be a major hazard.
Moreover, upcoming legislation changes mean that retirees who sell their long-term home can contribute up to $300,000 to their super – funding their retirement and creating liquid assets for easier estate planning.
For those of us not yet at preservation age, downsizing still has benefits. Like many forms of debt, a mortgage can cause huge amounts of stress. Just shy of one million Australian households are estimated to be experiencing mortgage stress, reports Digital Finance Analytics. Meanwhile, 21,000 are in severe distress.
In downsizing, you can sell off your home to settle existing mortgage debt and either begin renting a home or instead purchase a smaller, more affordable house.
A large home can require a lot of maintenance. If you’re juggling a full-time job and kids or simply don’t have the energy or resources to be tending a garden, dusting and vacuuming several rooms regularly, downsizing might be a good idea. With a smaller home, you’ll have fewer chores and more time to do the things you love.
Despite the many benefits, downsizing may not be for everyone.
If you’ve lived in your home for quite some time, it can be very hard to let go of a space that features in the vast majority of your treasured memories. You need to be emotionally prepared to say goodbye.
Change rarely comes easily. If you’re looking to downsize, consider where you are in life. If your kids are still at home, will you have the space to accommodate them and, at times, their friends? If you are – or are soon to be – retired, are you willing and able to adjust to a new home or do you rely on the familiarity of yours?
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