If you’ve reached a certain age and your children have long since left the nest, it’s likely that the thought of downsizing has crossed your mind. Or perhaps the idea of selling up and moving into something “more manageable” was planted by a well-meaning family member. Regardless, downsizing for retirement – or “rightsizing” as it has come to be known – can mean a new lease on life, provided it’s done thoughtfully.
What is rightsizing?
Rather than just moving into a smaller dwelling, the term rightsizing refers to finding a new home that meets your needs now and into the future. And it’s a fairly common aspiration – a recent survey by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute found that more than half of respondents aged over 55 years had already rightsized or were planning to in the near future. So, what are some of the benefits of rightsizing, as opposed to downsizing?
The most oft quoted reason for rightsizing in survey respondents was “manageability”. As we age, our homes can start to seem too large, too difficult to keep tidy, and a hassle to maintain, particularly if it includes a yard. Similarly, stairs, access points, and the structure of kitchens and bathrooms can become an issue with certain mobility limitations. While we probably chose our family home because it suited our needs at a certain point in time, as our lifestyle, health, and mobility changes, rightsizing can provide an opportunity to support these changes into the future.
Rightsizing is a great way to reduce financial stress. By choosing a home that meets your needs in terms of size, accessibility, and lifestyle, you can also make sure you are only paying for what you need. A smaller dwelling will generally mean reduced power, water, and heating costs.
Two of the biggest concerns about rightsizing, as reported in the survey, were the stress associated with moving house and a lack of available properties for those looking to move. Of course, downsizing for retirement means that you may have more options available to you than just the private rental or real estate market. Retirement communities are another great option to explore in your search for the perfect rightsized home, and they might just be an option that cuts down the stresses of moving.
Before you take the plunge and sell up, there are a few questions you should ask to ensure you’re rightsizing, not just downsizing:
- How much space will I need?
- Will I have guests staying regularly?
- How much time do I want to spend on maintenance?
- How might my mobility and access needs change in the future?
- Will my new home provide access to amenities and social opportunities?
- What kinds of security or support would I like/need nearby?
Another rightsizing tip is to choose a home that meets your needs now and into the future. It could be worthwhile to consider a community that specialises in downsizing for retirement and ticks all your lifestyle boxes. Let’s explore how a retirement living community could be the perfect fit for you.
Independent living homes are perfect for those who want to maintain their active lifestyle without the hassle and stress of house and garden repairs and maintenance. Need an extra bedroom for those overnight visits from friends or family? Retirement living homes can give you the choice of one, two, or more bedrooms, plus features to make life easier such as secure parking and a 24-hour emergency call system. You may even be able to bring your pet.
For an even simpler lifestyle, serviced apartments are maintained for you, so you don’t need to worry about cleaning, laundry, or daily meals. This is the perfect rightsizing choice if you’re looking for lifestyle that focuses on YOU – no hassles, just getting on with living the life you want.
These rightsizing tips will help you find the option that is best for you. Remember, just moving to a smaller home isn’t necessarily the best option. You want a home that works for you on all levels – comfort, space, security, and lifestyle. Feel free to browse our current homes for sale in our TriCare Retirement Living communities to see how we can be the right fit for your ideal retirement.