A guide to downsizing after retirement


When approaching retirement, many people consider downsizing and moving into a smaller property. Perhaps your kids have “flown the nest” and no longer live with you.


If you have a relatively large home with three or more bedrooms, it might feel ridiculous to live in such a large property if it’s just you and your spouse or partner. This leads many people to the decision that they want to move into a smaller property that is more practical and realistic for two people. However, there are many important things to consider when downsizing, and it is often easier said than done. Many people approaching retirement have lived in the same house for a number of years, and this can make the prospect of moving more difficult, both from an emotional and practical perspective. This brief guide to downsizing will give you some helpful tips and pointers that will make it more likely that your move is as smooth and hassle-free as possible.


The emotional aspects

As well as the potential hassle of packing up and moving house, there are also the cherished memories that you are leaving behind. Perhaps your children grew up in the house you currently live in, and it has always been regarded as the “family home”. Your children will also have lots of memories from the house, so they might not be in favour of your plans to move. Unless you’re moving down the road, you’ll also have to change neighbourhoods and live around an entirely new group of people. This gives you the opportunity to have a fresh start. Although it can be an emotionally tough decision, we’ll now discuss how the practicalities of moving often far outweigh the negatives.

The practicalities of downsizing

Moving into a smaller house often proves to be a financially prudent decision. If you have lived in your current home for many years, it’s likely that you will have a significant amount of equity in the house. You might even be in the very fortunate position of having paid your mortgage off completely. If you plan to move into a smaller property with fewer bedrooms, the property will usually have a lower price tag than your current home. That way you can generate some extra cash to put in the bank when you sell your house and move into a smaller place, which can be very useful when approaching retirement.

There will also be other financial savings when you move into a smaller property, including the need for less furniture and household items, less maintenance and a great saving on household bills. With energy prices rapidly increasing with no sign of slowing down, you may be surprised at just how much money you will save by moving into a house that is half the size of your old one.

There may even be an opportunity for you to make some extra money by selling some of the items that you will no longer need in your new home. It is usually good to move when approaching retirement, because the older you get, the more stressful and difficult it will become.

Call in the removal experts!

One of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of stress associated with moving into a new home is to call on the help of an experienced removal company. Many companies will also be able to work around your schedule and will happily work on evenings and weekends. You can usually arrange for the company to provide packaging, as well as packing and unpacking services. It is often a good idea to use a company with a local presence and an excellent reputation. The whole moving process will go much more smoothly if you are confident that the removal company will safely and securely move your belongings from your old house to your new one.

A chance for a fresh start

As we’ve briefly discussed already, you and your partner or spouse have an opportunity to start a new chapter in your lives. Whether you decide to get involved in a bit of DIY or want to re-do your new garden, it’s easy to find things to keep you busy once you have moved into to your new home. For example, moving from a four-bedroom house to a two-bedroom house, gives you a tremendous opportunity to de-clutter and get rid of things that you no longer need.

From a practicality viewpoint, it is unlikely that many of your items will fit in your new house, so it’s probably best to get all of the things you don’t need and decide which ones you are going to throw out, which you are going to sell and which you will give to charity.

A new location will also give you the opportunity to meet a new group of friends and neighbours. It’s also worth checking out potential neighbourhoods for their proximity to amenities and other facilities. Another factor to think about is whether you want to move to a neighbourhood that is closer to some of your family or friends.

The prospect of moving house when you retire can be daunting, and it’s likely that you have many happy memories and emotional connections to your family home. Additionally, you may well have built strong friendships with some of your neighbours. However, when you look at this situation objectively and consider it from a practicality standpoint, it quickly becomes apparent that downsizing can prove to be a prudent financial move. Other things to consider include the use of a professional removals company and the exciting opportunity of having a fresh new start.

Anisha works alongside Two Men and a Truck and has been heavily involved in her parents decision to downsize after taking early retirement, she therefore understands how important it is to prepare for both the emotional and practical aspects of choosing a smaller home after retiring, as well as being aware of the advantages and potential problems the move can bring.

(Article source: Third Age)

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