What is downsizing and why is it on the up

What is downsizing and why is it on the up

Downsizing is usually approached with dread because it can signify a major life change and upheaval — but that doesn’t need to be the case, explains Lorraine Cox

The term ‘downsizing’ traditionally refers to the reduction of employee numbers in a company, but in the home removal and retirement industry, we’ve happily adopted this term to mean when a person moves from a large, unmanageable home to a smaller home that needs less work and maintenance, and is therefore far more suitable to their current age and lifestyle.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, persons moving house later in life are usually motivated by: “…Illness or disability, the death of a spouse, or reflect a desire to downsize after children have moved out”. However, in my 20 years’ experience in helping thousands of clients move — and hundreds downsize — I’ve learnt that most people downsize because they recognise they are reaching a stage in their life where looking after the current family home is too much for them and they wish to sell their big property and move to a smaller, more comfortable and more suitable home that affords them more time to pursue their personal interests.

Most clients downsize to homes located in retirement villages that offer dedicated environments and communities for the elderly, so it’s worth noting that downsizers are not only looking for a change of scene; they’re also seeking to live among like-minded people of the same age who share the same activities and interests. At Downsizing With Ease, we certainly see many of our clients wishing that they’d downsized a lot sooner as they discover new friends, the time to pursue their interests and the chance to adopt a more suitable lifestyle — a new lifestyle that takes into consideration the inevitable changes in their health, physicality, financial situation and so on.

Most of Downsizing With Ease’s clients fall into the following three categories:

• Overburdened: These downsizers no longer wish to carry the physical and financial burden of caring for the family home — especially all those hours and dollars spent on maintenance, repainting and repairs, not to mention the endless upkeep of the garden and pool. These people want to simplify their lives, cull their possessions and start anew, whether it be a tree-change, a sea-change or a gorgeous little cottage in the perfect retirement village.

• Jetsetters: These downsizers have worked hard and saved even harder, and now want to enjoy the fruits of their labour and their retirement, either travelling Australia or the world. Most would simply like the freedom of being able to take a holiday at short notice to visit family and friends — without having to worry about pets, watering the plants, the home’s security, and the dread of coming home to a half-dead garden offset with ugly overgrown lawns and a lime-green pool!

• Better prospects: The final category are typically sitting on valuable property that, if sold, could buy them a much newer home, with little maintenance AND put aside some considerable dollars in the bank to enjoy whatever makes them truly happy. These downsizers plan to take pleasure in their retirement and live life to the full, in a new home that suits them to a tee.

If these scenarios resonate with you, and you’re starting to think about moving and the sort of places you might like to relocate to, don’t let yourself freeze up because you’re suddenly hit by overwhelm and don’t know where to start. In fact, I’d like to welcome you to the special circle of 90 per cent of Downsizing With Ease’s clients!

We are passionate about helping our clients downsize, without the stress, fuss and overwhelm that usually goes with preparing for sale, finding a suitable location, sorting stuff, packing up and moving to a new home.

As one of our clients said recently, “We went to a morning tea hosted by a local real estate agent. We had no thoughts of moving at this stage, actually we just thought it was all too hard. Lorraine was the last speaker of the day. By the time we got home, my wife and I said, “she made it all sound so easy, let’s do it”. Within three months we had sold, found a place we love, had Lorraine and the team help us downsize, pack, move and unpack.”

I’d be delighted to hear from you if have any questions or need someone to talk to about your downsizing move. We have a range of packages on offer to suit your needs and your budget, so don’t be one of those people who wishes they’d done it sooner.

Best wishes,

Lorraine

What about you? Have you or your friends/family considered downsizing? Do you think it will work for you?

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