Downsizing - Is It Right for You?

Originating in the corporate world, downsizing now also refers to the process of moving to a smaller or lower-maintenance home and usually also means simplifying your lifestyle.

Many downsizers are older or retired people who have outgrown their large family home.

However, downsizing is not necessarily just for retirees – downsizing suits anyone seeking a change in lifestyle.

It is also a way to minimise the upkeep of a home and reduce the associated maintenance costs.

Is downsizing right for you? We will look at the pros and cons of this lifestyle change.

Pros

More money in the bank

You may be financially better off – especially if you have owned your current home for a while and it has increased in value.

Downsizing may allow you to pay off your mortgage and move to a smaller, more modern property with better appliances and facilities.

 Older people with mobility issues can choose to live in a home without stairs, a smaller garden and fewer rooms to clean.

Smaller homes may also mean lower energy bills.

A new lease on life

Moving to a new area can be exciting and invigorating at any stage of life. A new home can mean improved mental health, new opportunities for work, hobbies and friendships, and can mean a new chapter of life begins, potentially with more financial security. Downsizing can mean staying in your own home longer, and all the associated benefits that this entails.

A chance to declutter

If you are surrounded by decades of clutter and belongings, downsizing can be the perfect opportunity to clear, clean and declutter, keeping only the essentials and donating unwanted items to charity,  discarding junk and keeping only the items that are the most valuable.

Smaller home – less maintenance

A smaller home generally means less gardening and less time dealing with wear and tear.

Moving into a unit or apartment complex can further alleviate this responsibility if a body corporate is involved in looking after the common areas of the building.

Cons

Too much of a change

You may find it difficult to contemplate living somewhere different or adjust to a big change if you move from a large house to a small apartment. If you are leaving a home with a lifetime of memories, this may also be a wrench and too emotional for some.

Minimal financial benefit

If you are downsizing but want to stay in the same area to be close to family and friends, you may find that the financial benefits are minimal.

Memories

It may be overwhelming to consider the task of decluttering and deciding what to do with the accumulated belongings of decades.

Questions to Ask Before You Consider Downsizing

If you’re not sure whether it’s the right time to downsize, asking the following questions may help the decision-making process.

How do you entertain/currently use your home?

If you have a large family and circle of friends, or do a lot of entertaining, consider the impacts on your lifestyle of moving to a smaller home. Downsizing may mean scaling back large gatherings and seeing less of your loved ones.

How important is your outdoor space/garden?

If gardening is one of your hobbies, then consider a downsize carefully. Units and apartments can be short on space for plants and flowers. (The upside is you may never have to mow another lawn!)

What kind of lifestyle do you want after you downsize?

Are you downsizing to move closer to friends and family, live closer to public transport, a city hub or a regional or beach community? Different options for housing will be available depending on where you move. Cost will also be a factor.

Government Assistance

The Australian government allows eligible Australians to use a portion of their home sale proceeds – up to $300,000 – to boost their super. This is treated as a non-concessional contribution and doesn’t count towards the annual superannuation contribution cap.

In addition, the proceeds of your home sale are exempt from the age pension asset test for up to 12 months if you plan to use the money to purchase, construct, or renovate another home.

However, the proceeds from your home sale are deemed as part of the age pension income test, according to Moneysmart. The income test examines your proceeds as income from financial assets, which may affect government benefits.

For more information about the age pension and government benefits, visit Moneysmart.

Is downsizing in your near future?

Perhaps you are planning to move to aged care, a smaller home, or to a retirement facility.

Don’t let the stress and worry of a move get the better of you.

At Blue Lighthouse Relocations, we make moving house simple and stress free.

We plan. We pack. We move. We unpack. We set up!

As an established and growing provider of moving and relocation services throughout south-east Queensland, we offer services to suit a wide range of needs:

  • Aged Care Relocations
  • Retirement Relocations
  • Downsizing and Decluttering
  • Relocation Planning
  • House Relocations
  • Same-Day Move Service
  • Deceased Estate Clearances
  • Property Clearance & Sale Preparation
  • Mobile Storage

Our initial consultation to determine your needs is completely free of charge.

Get in touch today – we look forward to helping you.

Call us on 1300 158 432.

Email our friendly relocations team on info@bluelighthouse.com.au

Visit our website and send us a free quote request.