What’s not to love about downsizing? Cheaper utility bills, fewer rooms to clean, a cozier feeling all around. When you’re downsizing for retirement, you may also qualify for a higher pension based on your assets, and even free up some cash which could go towards your all-important retirement savings writes Financial Risk Advisor, Katrina Haskew.
But, like with any big life change, the move itself can be a somewhat stressful process – if you let it be. Below are five ways to help make the process as stress-free as possible, to let you get back to enjoying your new and cozier home.
Don’t forget to consult the family
If you’re moving out of the family home, or a home that the family is very familiar with, then every family member may feel they have some skin in the game. There are likely to be a lot of attachments to the house or apartment. And while your mind may already be made up, filling family in on your reasons for wanting to move, and who you will be selling to, may lessen the blow somewhat.
So, don’t wait until you have financing lined up to find out that your spouse, or children, will be devastated by a change in scenery. Hold a family meeting and make sure everyone is on board with the big decision before getting started.
Determine your new location’s “must haves”
The location of your new home could make or break home much you enjoy your new living arrangements. So, it’s important to figure out what will add to your personal quality of living, according to what you enjoy about different locations. This might include such factors as: proximity to public transport, a beach or walking tracks nearby, great local cafes, a quiet street, a vibrant neighbourhood, lots of neighbours, not many neighbours – the list is completely up to you!
Document your findings before hitting the housing market and start your search with your wish list in mind.
Don’t rush the process
If you have owned a home in almost any capital city in Australia during the last decade, the value of your home has likely appreciated in value. For some homeowners, it may be tempting to “sell the farm” and take the cash quickly.
But with it unlikely there will be any drastic property market crash anywhere in the very near future (fingers crossed!), there’s really no reason to rush anything. Take your time with your sale, and your new purchase, to ensure you are getting the deal you deserve on both.
Document your valuables
If you are like most people, you may have dozens (or even hundreds!) of valuables scattered throughout your home. And while some of these may be monetary valuables, what we’re referring to here are the family keepsakes and heirlooms you could be devastated if you misplaced.
Take the time to document these valuables – before the movers show up. And if you have some truly valuable items, you might want to consider moving them yourself, so you know they won’t get lost in the mayhem.
Clear the deck
Any move is a great opportunity to clear out the junk. Use the move to get rid of items you no longer use: hold a garage sale, put items on Ebay, or donate valuables to a local charity or non-profit.
It will simplify your move, and your old junk might even make someone else’s day!
She is Managing Director of Leading Advice (www.leadingadvice.com.au), a family-run financial advisory firm that helps its clients and their families build and protect their wealth, now and into the future.
DISCLOSURE: Katrina Haskew & KGH Financial Pty Ltd trading as Leading Advice ABN: 52 146 015 885 is a Corporate Authorised representative of Millennium3 Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN: 61 094 529 987 Australian Financial Services Licensee No. 244252. | 7/50 Borthwick Ave Murarrie QLD 4172