The decision of whether to downsize in retirement can be a big one. Below we have weighed up the pros and cons. At Leaders we’re retirement experts, so if you’re still unsure about what to do, give our team a call and we’d be happy to advise further.
Downsizing could mean you could end up paying less for your bills, such as electricity, water or heating bills. This may go a considerable way to increasing your disposable income in retirement.
This report advises that the average person will have to save £260,000 to have a basic income in retirement. If your property has grown in value this may be the right time to sell, downsize, release equity, and increase the size of your retirement pot.
Choosing a property which allows you to reduce costs and release equity should allow for a better standard of living so you can do more of what you love.
Does where you live still tick all the boxes? There may be somewhere more convenient for you now to accommodate your current situation.
Changing location could mean living in a more central position, giving you more options when it comes to transport.
Shows like A Place in the Sun have glamorised and brought to light the idea of moving to a warmer climate, where you can enjoy stunning views and a more affordable way of life.
You may have lived in a property for, say, over 20 years. Every nook and cranny means something to you and it may be hard to see yourself living anywhere else.
Community spirit in your area could be strong. For example, you may have friends in the neighbourhood with whom you enjoy meeting up with for the occasional street party or seasonal drinks.
Making a change could mean moving to a different location, which could well be further away from where your family are situated.
Downsizing will most likely involve a certain amount of decluttering in order to fit your possessions in the smaller property. Selling your items or giving them away may not be something you’re willing to entertain.
Although it may seem hard, there are many ways to make coping with downsizing easier.
A key thing is to give yourself time. Focus on packing up and decluttering one room at a time. This will also give you a chance to sell or donate things you aren’t keeping before you move. Although there will never feel like a good time to start, the sooner the better is best.
If you’re able to, ask relatives and friends to help with packing up. Put on some music, have a cup of tea in-between, and reminisce about your memories. Make it into more of an event that you’ll treasure, rather than just packing up boxes alone without time to process your feelings.
If you feel really sentimental about getting rid of certain items, see if a relative or friend may want them who will cherish them in the same way that you did.
Try your best to forget what you’re leaving behind, and instead focus on the positives of downsizing and what you will gain from it going forward.
Downsizing can be difficult, that why we've put together some helpful downsizing home ideas.
Digitise important things – if you’re able to, try and digitise important items such as photos, bills, old videos etc. This will help save space, keeps everything in one place, and you’ll still have all the memories from photos and videos that your other relatives and friends can now easily have copies of too.
Prioritise keeping multi-use items – do you have a sofa that folds out into a bed? Or a small table that can be extended? Things like this are worth keeping for your new place as you can use them day to day without taking up too much space, but they’ll also be beneficial if you have people come to visit or stay.
Sort your stuff into categories – it can be hard to know where to start when packing up a whole house, but having categories to split things into is easier. Try and keep everything you’re wanting to keep in one area, then an area for things you want to sell/donate/give to family and friends, and an area of everything you’re getting rid of. If you find it particularly hard to throw things out, try to be strict and have a ‘one in one out’ policy (for every item you keep, another has to be sold, donated or thrown away).
Ditch the duplicates – you may have found that over the years you’ve accumulated duplicates of things, particularly kitchenware (a cupboard solely dedicated to mugs perhaps?). One way to easily free up space is by getting rid of those duplicates you really don’t need.
Get inspired for your new home – check out websites like Pinterest or interior magazines to find some inspiration for smaller homes and how you can utilise space to best suit your new lifestyle. This will also give you something exciting to focus on!
Our downsizing experts can help by providing you with a market appraisal so you can fully understand how much your home could sell for, and what the current market is like for properties similar to yours in your area. Why not start by giving our instant valuation tool a go?
With branches all over the UK, our downsizing experts can help advise on smaller properties you may wish to buy too, even if you’re looking to move to a different area. Call your local Leaders property experts on 01344 753 100.
Looking for advice?
If you're looking to let or sell your property, we can help. Get in touch with your local branch or book in for a property valuation.