One of the most important decisions you’ll make when you retire is whether to stay in your existing home or downsize to a smaller one. Some retirees are happy in their home, while others are excited by the prospect of a moving somewhere new – and there are plenty more who are not sure which way to go.
Depending on your personal circumstances, there can be positives and negatives to both staying and going, and these relate chiefly to finances, lifestyle and safety. Here, we’ve summarised the key advantages and disadvantages of both options to help you make the best choice.
Staying in Your Home
Whether you’ve been in your home for five years or five decades, it’s important to look beyond the sentimental aspects and think practically. While many retirees stay put and are happy, some homes are just not ideal for retirees as they age.
Advantages of Staying
- Avoid paying stamp duty, sales commissions and other moving costs
- Staying in your home means being close to neighbours, friends and your memories
- You won’t need to organise and coordinate a move which can be stressful and demanding.
Disadvantages of Staying
- Larger homes require more maintenance both inside and out so you’ll have less free time
- You have a limited ability to access the capital tied up in your property
- You’ll miss an opportunity to move somewhere with a better climate, location and home.
Moving to an Over-55s Community
An over-55s community can be a great move for retirees. Spending some time visiting different villages and chatting to residents will help you make your decision.
Advantages of Moving
- Homes are low-maintenance and often have features like handrails for comfort and safety
- You’ll have access to on-site facilities which may include a gym, pool and recreation room
- Become part of a community of like-minded and similarly-aged people
- Managers live on-site and are there to help at all times
- Opportunity to socialise and make friends during organised activities and gatherings
- The security of living in a gated community gives you peace of mind
Disadvantages of Moving
- Smaller properties and higher density living may not suit all
- Downsizing means you’ll need to let go of some of your belongings (although decluttering can be a good thing)
- Some (but not all) villages have complex contracts and charge excessive fees, so do your homework and seek legal advice before you sign to avoid paying too much.
Confused about contracts and other village questions? Download our free guide, 20 Questions You Must Ask BEFORE You Choose a Village…
Go with Your Instincts
Big decisions are always tough, and sometimes no matter how much you research and compare the options the answer is still not clear. At the end of the day it’s important to trust your instincts.
If you love your home and your neighbourhood has everything, you’ll need to enjoy life as you age then staying put may be the best choice. But if there are question marks on access and upkeep, security concerns in your community or you feel lonely or bored, then a move to an over-55s community is definitely worth considering.
Over to You
Are you thinking of downsizing and have a question? Or have you already made the move to an over-55s community and have some tips to share? We’d love to hear from you.
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.