As part of The Guide to Living Wellour new resource helping people to stay in the place they love, we look at the different places you might choose to live as you get older.  

Have you considered moving or downsizing the family home? Here, we take a look at the considerations and how you could approach it. 

Thinking about downsizing the family home can be a daunting experienced. Filled with a lifetime of memories and a sense of familiarity and independence, letting go is understandably difficult.  

Yet there are plenty of benefits that come with embracing change – as more Australians are beginning to realise. Research from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute has found that over half of older Australians who move house over the age of 50 opt for a smaller property – the majority seeking an easier lifestyle and less maintenance stress.  

The benefits of downsizing

If you do want to stay in a home of your own but move somewhere smaller, here are some of the things you might consider: 

  • You get a fresh start. While letting go of sentimental possessions and your home can be hard at first, the processes can also be liberating. Downsizing can free up cash flow, space and time for the things you enjoy – from travel and spending time with family, to exploring new activities or hobbies. 
  • Less maintenance. Whether you’re looking at moving into a retirement village, an apartment block or a smaller house, downsizing can significantly reduce the time and effort spent on home maintenance. For examples, communal gardens and smaller backyards to look after, as well as fewer bedrooms, mean less daily housework.  
  • Cuts down costs. The financial benefits of downsizing are extensive. Think reduced utility bills and insurance costs, and less money needed for upkeep. Additionally, any profits made from the sale of your house can reduce financial stress in years to come.  
  • Simpler to get around. Swapping stairs or garden path steps for a lift or an apartment on the ground floor can make moving around your home safer and easier. 
  • Location, location, location. Moving might mean being closer to family or friends, or being part of a community such as a retirement village. On the flip side, you might want a centrally located apartment or unit closer to amenities such as public transport to make everything from attending doctor appointments to gym classes more manageable.  

If you’re considering downsizing, the most important thing is to have a frank and honest conversation with your loved ones – the earlier the better. Write a list of what a new property should look like and put a timeline in place for the move.  

Quick-fire questions

Answering yes to these five questions is an indication that it may be time to make a move. 

  1. Am I using every room in the house on a regular basis? 
  2. Is it becoming difficult to keep the house clean because of the number of rooms? 
  3. Do I feel isolated from my closest friends and family in my current location? 
  4. Would de-cluttering or simplifying some of the possessions in my home make me feel comfortable or relieve stress? 
  5. Would my finances change for the better if I had a smaller house? 

To head to the Apia website, where you can download the guide in its entirety, click here.

For more information, call the Five Good Friends and Apia Care Advice line on:
1300 50 27 42

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