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When it’s time to downsize, do it with confidence

Downsizing is meant to simplify day-to-day life, but it can be an overwhelming and emotionally taxing process.

Seniors Own Real Estate Managing Director Mike Graebner offered some advice for older Australians who are weighing the pros and cons of downsizing.

He said there was no correct age to downsize, rather it was a personal decision to make based on a number of factors.

However, Mr Graebner said a couple of questions should be asked before making the decision to downsize.

“If I move now, will I be able to enjoy the benefits?,” he said.

“By waiting, I am getting older, so will it be too late if I delay too much?”

Looking at the benefits, Mr Graebner said there was much to enjoy if one committed to downsizing.

A few of these examples included freeing up capital from the sale of an existing home, social contact amongst peer groups instead of isolation and a fit-for-purpose house designed for improved mobility.

Dempsey Real Estate Director Mal Dempsey added to the chorus of enthusiasm and said options were becoming more available for downsizers who did not wish to stray too far from their neighbourhood.

“Downsizers are now spoilt for choice with many new complexes coming onto the market,” he said.

“Infill projects are coming out of the ground in many suburbs, allowing the downsizer the ability to stay in an area they are familiar with.”

Once someone has been swayed to carry out a plan to downsize, there are a few practical tips to make it a less stressful time.

“Make a list of things you need to do and take it one step at a time,” Mr Graebner said.

“Small bite-sized chunks are less daunting than rushing it.

“Enlist a family member, if available, or use the services of a specialist to advise, assist and prepare your home, and have a checklist of things you need to do when moving house.”

Even if the practical side of the move is going well, the emotional demands can still prove to be a challenge.

“Be certain why you are moving,” Mr Graebner said. “It’s good to write the reasons down and refer to it if things seem a bit difficult.”

Mr Graebner said it would be important during this time to talk to family and friends who were supportive and to be satisfied you had done your homework

If you are intending to downsize to a retirement village, he said it would be a good idea to visit and talk to people already living in the retirement village that has caught your attention.

“Ask to be included in activities in the village while you are preparing to move in,” Mr Graebner said, adding that often after making the choice to downsize, people had wished they did it sooner.

“Don’t procrastinate. Most people I visit after they have moved into a retirement village would say, ‘I should have done this sooner’ or ‘I don’t know why I waited to so long’.”

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