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Downsizing your home

small table and chairs in corner of small room

Benefits in Downsizing Your Home in Retirement

There are many benefits in downsizing your home, including a reduced mortgage or increased funds for retirement. You might even be able to own your own home by downsizing, with some leftover funds to spend or invest. Downsizing will also free up your time and cash flow by reducing time and expenditure on property maintenance. All that hard work in the yard and time spent on maintaining the home will be reduced or even become a thing of the past. Downsizing and relocating can be liberating, and give you more freedom, time and money to enjoy life. Moving is not an easy decision for anyone, and there is obviously much to consider when making this change though.

When choosing a property you may consider the following*:

  • Fees and costs associated with moving:
    • Removalist fees
    • Cleaning fees
    • Maintenance costs
    • Legal fees
    • Agent’s fees
    • Body corporate fees if you are moving into an apartment
    • Consider fees associated with buying into a retirement village such as entry fees, ongoing fees and exit fees.
  • The infrastructure surrounding you and your future needs:

    • Is there a train or bus stop?
    • Can you walk to the supermarket?
    • Is there a Pharmacy and General Practitioner that is easy to access?
    • How far away is the local hospital?
    • Are there stairs in the new property?
    • Is there sufficient external lighting?
  • Location:

    • Will you still be close to friends and family?
    • Is there enough room for your relatives and friends to visit you?
    • Will your furniture fit into the apartment?
    • Will you have a place to park your car?
    • Is the area safe and comfortable?
    • Are the grounds and surrounds well maintained?
  • Lifestyle:

    • Can you have a pet on the premises?
    • Can you renovate the apartment/ retirement villa to suit your needs?
    • Can you have other people move in with you?
    • Is the new premises secure?
Dining room with view on the ocean
Several houses side by side

Financial considerations:

There are many issues to consider when downsizing in retirement. These issues may include but are not limited to the following*:

Old people on one part, money, coins on the other part

How will the equity from the sale of your home impact on any government payments that you are receiving or are eligible to receive?

When your financial and living circumstances change, it is advisable that you notify the Department of Human Services of your changes. These changes might impact on the benefits that you are receiving or are entitled to.

If you have any questions regarding the sale of your home and how this will impact on your government benefits you can contact the Department of Human Services on 132 300.

Once you have downsized your home, you may have additional funds to invest. In this case it is a good idea to seek financial advice from a qualified financial adviser to discuss which options are best for you.