There is a growing trend for the over-55’s to explore the potential and advantages of downsizing to a smaller home. Faced with the rising cost of living, people want to secure their finances as they approach retirement.
Rather than delaying long-term planning for your future, here are some benefits to downsizing for you to consider.
Downsizing your home can not only release equity but lower operating costs. It’s a great opportunity to clear or reduce your mortgage. Ultimately, replacing your mortgage with funding for a smaller house that is lower-priced, and better suited to meet lifestyle changes as you get older.
It can pave the way for cheaper home insurance, generally smaller properties cost less to insure. By moving into a smaller home, you may be able to save on your energy bills by using less space for heating or cooling.
Releasing equity from your home can equally help your children or grandchildren to buy their own home and develop their own independence.
More free time for your hobbies
Deciding to downsize offers the opportunity to spend less time on cleaning and maintenance. It can also enable more enjoyment of free time and hobbies.
Having a smaller garden can also be a big advantage. This promises even the keenest of gardeners an easy route to developing fresh skills, with more pots and less lawn, whilst cultivating wildlife.
Making life easier
Decluttering can be a challenge as you get older, particularly if you begin to lose mobility. Emptying the loft, garage, garden shed, and wardrobes may become tough. Starting the process early will benefit your wellbeing.
Clearing out old things that have been unused for years can aid charities with their fundraising. Having a clear out can likewise help members of the community that are in need. By leaving items outside your property for people to take for free you may be providing someone with something that they need.
Being closer family
For many, moving closer to friends and family members in retirement is a priority. The bonds between parents and children are genuinely exceptional. Being closer to the people in your life encourages those bonds to grow.
Closer to what you need
As well as being close to family and friends it’s important to think about what you may need in your retirement. Access to certain facilities may be important, such as:
- High Streets
- Cinemas and clubs
- Health services
- Public transport
- Parks and open spaces
For many people, being able to ‘lock up and leave’ is a priority to enable long-planned travel plans, without worrying about home security. Being closer to family and friends opens the door for you to be able to travel for extended periods.
Being part of the community
Retirement can lead to plenty of free time, meaning that you may have time to get more involved in your community should you wish. Retirees often volunteer, saving taxpayers billions of pounds annually.
There are many forms of volunteering, including litter picking, organising local speed watches, or working in museums and libraries. Some older people also volunteer to work with young people, encouraging them to develop their talents by helping with homework clubs or coaching in the arts, music, or sports.
How do you go about downsizing your home?
Starting a new home search means taking all these things into consideration, alongside budgets and expected retirement income. Start by having your existing property valued by at least 3 professionals to help with financial planning. Once the best location has been identified, agreeing a timescale is important.
At this stage, consulting an experienced adviser at our Mortgage Centres can enable you to secure the most appropriate financial package to proceed. This puts you in a strong position as you begin your property search.