In Canada, 85% of people over the age of 65 are “overhoused.” This means that they have more bedrooms and space than they realistically need. This is why many people look to downsize their homes, and look for somewhere that is more suited to their needs, and easier to manage. Here are four tips for moving home later in life.
Budget for the future
If you are retired, or no longer working, then it is extremely important to budget for the future. Many people look buy a smaller home in order to release the equity in an existing home. This money can provide a good lump sum to live off, or invest elsewhere. When you move, take stock of your assets, and consider how long you need them to last for. A Retirement Budget Calculator can help you work out how much money you will need weekly, that way there will be no surprises.
Do you really need to keep it?
Back in 2011, Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up took the world by storm. It was a book with simple principles – if an item doesn’t bring you joy, then don’t keep it. It encouraged entire generations to clear up, to declutter, and to get rid of the miscellaneous objects that they had been unnecessarily storing for years. Think about the items that you have in the loft – apart from perhaps the faux Christmas tree, how much is up there that you have simply forgotten about? Think about all the items that you have kept “just in case.” It is entirely likely that that time will never come, and you’ve just been storing stuff unnecessarily. If you don’t need it, let it go.
Downsizing your home means that you may need to be more creative when it comes to storage. This could mean installing purpose-built cupboards, or utilising the space underneath the stairs. Alternatively if there are larger items you want to keep, but you don’t necessarily need in your home, it might be worth renting a storage unit – they might cost less than you think.
Prioritise your time
When you are choosing your new home, it is important to think about how you want to spend your time. It is all very well having a place with a big garden, but unless you are planning to spend a lot of time maintaining it, the garden might become more of a burden – eating into your personal time. If you are retiring, this is the ideal time to take stock of what you really want to do with the free time that you are going to have. This is why it’s important to choose a new home that is going to be right for your needs. Bigger isn’t always better.
Downsizing your home later in life can give you the financial stability to retire comfortably. You will be able to then enjoy your new found free time.