The idea of downsizing for Retirement is naturally met with mixed emotions by many facing the decision. Kelly's fully appreciates the process one has to go through when deciding whether to downsize their property. We understand that it can be a very emotional transition, potentially for good and bad reasons.
On the one hand, there is the emotional excitement of having more freedom in your life to do what makes you happy, but also the emotional stress of moving out of your family home to a new location.
Either way, it is a big transition so being prepared and ready for it is the key to success!
Before we get into the considerations, let's first discuss the reasons you may want to downsize for retirement:
First and foremost, are you considering downsizing? If so, what has bought you to this decision?
Let’s explore why others in the UK are downsizing for retirement:
Are you downsizing for any of the above reasons? If so, read on for the top considerations!
Financial - What are your financial goals in downsizing? How much money can you free up for yourself monthly by downsizing in retirement?
Lifestyle - What are the main lifestyle reasons for downsizing? Are you moving closer to family & friends? Moving to afford healthcare requirements? Moving to a more accessible space? Want to enjoy the weather a little more?
You can use these two points as a basis for deciding what is possible and the best locations for your requirements.
With your goals defined, you can now think about when you want to make the jump. Is it something you need to do because of financial constraints? Or are you looking to just enjoy your retirement to the fullest and not be tied down to larger mortgage payments?
Timing is key here. Be conscious of the current state of house prices, interest rates, and of course Brexit. How will this affect home prices? All things to take into consideration when thinking about the timing of your move.
Are you staying in the country or relocating abroad? What type of property would best suit your needs? Going back to point 1 and our goals, your financial constraints, the lifestyle you want to lead, and, potentially, healthcare concerns, will help you decide the best location.
There are so many options to choose from! Of course, you have houses and flats, but also boats, houseboats, mobile homes, RVs, senior living communities, care homes, and more!
If you are moving to a senior living community or similar, of course, your location may be chosen for you (although, you still have many options here too).
For the other options, you will have a wide range of potential locations. So, take your time and really look into a location that suits your requirements going forward.
Renting vs Buying
When you downsize, are you looking to buy another property? Or have you considered renting?
Renting may not be desirable for you, especially if you have owned a home for a long time. That is fully understandable.
It comes down to one main question and takes us back to our first point: “What are your goals for downsizing in retirement?”
Experience the move… before you move
You can do this in two ways:
Visualise what your new location may be like. Based on the activities you know you like and have available for you in your new location, how will you spend your time? Are you moving closer to friends or family? How will you spend your newfound freedom with them?
Go and visit – If you are indeed moving closer to family and friends, can you go down and stay in the area for a while? Either with them or at a local hotel for a few days so you can get a good idea of what it is like in the area?
If you are moving into a senior living community or care home, maybe you can go to their open days a few times and get to know the staff and other residents there?
Your new routine
I’m sure you may have heard this or can resonate with this yourself maybe, but as you reach retirement and have more free time on your hands, it can knock you out of any kind of routine. Even more so when moving to a new home.
Before retirement, you would have structure to your day as you head out to work each morning. Now, that you have all of that time back, what are you going to do with it?
A good idea is to establish a new routine as early as possible in the new location.
What do you like to do? Work these into your daily routine to make your downsizing journey smoother.
Downsizing your goods for retirement
With the downsizing of your home, you may also realise that your current belongings may not fit into the new home.
So, what do you do?
You have a couple of options here.
For the not-so sentimental items, you can of course sell them before you move. Places like the Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, eBay, Car boot sales, and more can assist you here.
For the sentimental items, you can either get a family member or friend to free up some space for your goods or, of course, you could use a self-storage company like ours that will come to your home and collect those bits for you, take them into storage and then return them when you are ready.
This way you can keep your items safe and secure and not have to throw them away due to lack of space. You’ll then be able to access your goods at any time whilst in storage.
Finally, with all of those considerations taken on board, let’s look at what you have to look forward to in retirement!
Travel – You can go and explore the world with your newfound freedom.
Here is an idea:
If you have always wanted to travel, but maybe could not afford to or didn’t have the means to, what if you ‘AirBnB’ your home out whilst you travel?
You can put all of your items into long-term storage, rent your home out and make additional cash whilst you travel!
If you do not have to sell your home, why bother, right?
Family Time – Spending time with the kids and grandkids as they grow up. A Priceless time where you can just focus on spending time with family and doing what matters most in your life without having to worry about work.
Leisure – Maybe you have a hobby? Or activity you like to do regularly? Well, now you can put more time into that. Do you enjoy going places with your friends? Go exploring, find new places for you and your friends to get to know, and enjoy the afternoons at home!
Community Activities – Are you someone who likes to give back to your community? We resonate with you on this one!
Now you are in retirement, you can go and find more opportunities to volunteer, help with local projects and do what you can around the neighborhood.
I heard a really good saying, it goes:
The first third of your life, you learn.
The second third of your life, you earn.
The final third of your life, you return.
I love this because, now in retirement, you have learned a lot throughout life and have had your time at work, now it’s time for you to relax and return, which is just giving back and helping others do better in life where you can.
Are there any points that you think we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below.
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