If you’re over 55 and considering downsizing, there are plenty of options – but a move to a lifestyle village ticks all the boxes.
You can maintain your independence and privacy, while enjoying the security and sense of connection that being part of a close community brings. Plus, downsizing means you’ll spend less time maintaining your home and more time enjoying it.
But first, you’ve got to plan, organise and coordinate the move – and without support and a strategy, this can be quite stressful!
So, here are 5 tips to make things easier – in the lead up to, during, and beyond your move to a lifestyle village.
Before the Move
Once you’ve decided an over-55s community is for you, it’s time to choose a village for your new home. Spend time researching and visiting those on your shortlist and be clear on the features you want and need. Of course, it’s essential that any potential village checks off all your needs (and preferably most of your wants too), but you should also be guided by your instincts when making your decision. Do you feel welcome, relaxed and happy while visiting? Are the residents and managers friendly? And most importantly, can you imagine yourself living here?
Next, it’s time to organise the sale of your home, and finding a real estate agent who knows your area, is essential. Make sure you’re clear from the get go on your expectations of a settlement time frame and sale price – because to get a good result, it’s vital that you’re all on the same page.
Sorting Your Finances
When selling the family home to downsize, if you play your cards right, it’s likely that you’ll end up with a healthy bank balance from the proceeds of the sale. The price you’ll pay for your new home will depend on the location and other factors, but as an example, you can purchase a brand-new home, on your own fenced block, for $220,500 (at the time of writing) at Village Lifestyle Park in Traralgon. So that you maximise your money and set yourself up for a comfortable retirement, it’s worth seeking expert financial advice to help you map your path. Your financial advisor can provide advice on the recent changes to superannuation contributions for over 65s and help you compare contracts so you avoid choosing an over-55s village that charges excessive or deferred management fees.
Get Ready to Move
Once your old home is sold and you have secured a new one, it’s time to organise and pack your belongings in preparation for moving day. Allocate plenty of time for this task, as it will probably take longer than you think. You also don’t want to rush and pack without thought, because the last thing you want after a big few days moving is to have to face chaos when it’s time to unpack. Arm yourself with plenty of boxes, tape and other packing materials and be sure to label everything clearly. If you’re downsizing, you’ll likely need to reduce what you own – and moving is the perfect time to declutter. Divide your unwanted items into three piles – sell, give away, or throw out. Not only will you make the packing and moving faster and easier, you’ll also feel much lighter for it.
Coordinate Moving Day
The key to any successful move is to plan ahead and be organised – and this is no different when moving to an over-55s community. Start organising the logistics of the move as soon as possible. Will you hire removalists? Or hire a truck and move yourself with the help of family and friends? If your budget allows, removalists will take a lot of the stress (and hard work) out of the move – but if you have the manpower to help and a truck or van available to borrow or hire, you’ll save a lot of money doing it yourself. Either way, plan the moving day down to the last detail – give everyone who is helping a clear role, so things run smoothly and efficiently, and make sure you give clear directions on where things should go to save double handling.
Your New Home and Lifestyle
Once the moving itself is done, it’s time to settle in to your new life. Because the move to a lifestyle village is such a huge change, it’s important to prepare yourself mentally and have a network of family and friends to support you through the early days. Invite your family and friends to come and visit, and get involved with the village community through organised activities and events. A lifestyle village offers plenty of ways to stay active, meet new friends and discover new interests – so you can settle in to your new life fast.
If you’re over 55 and want to free up your time and money, be part of a community of like-minded people and make the absolute most of your retirement, a lifestyle village is an ideal solution. But if the thought of all the effort involved in moving is enough to give you second thoughts, just remember – with the right preparation and support, moving to a lifestyle village can go smoothly!
Over to You
Do you have some more tips on moving and adjusting to life in a lifestyle village? We’d love you to share!
Want to know more about deferred management fees and other traps related to lifestyle villages? Download our FREE guide, 20 Questions You Must Ask BEFORE Choosing a Village.