Deciding if the time is right for you to downsize can be a difficult decision, but the following scenarios just might help you make your mind up, says Lorraine Cox
If you’re thinking of downsizing and are seriously wondering if moving to a smaller, more manageable home would make life much, much easier, here are our Top 10 reasons (in no particular order) as to why Downsizing With Ease’s many clients have chosen to make the big move:
1. Not coping: As Australia’s population ages and the family unit tends to break down, many elderly people are finding themselves isolated from their children and extended family, but are left with the upkeep of a large home and garden. This responsibility soon becomes a burden on the elderly; as they become less agile and able, we’ve seen how taking care of a family home and garden can take its toll on their mental and physical wellbeing.
2. Illness: Many downsizers are aging rapidly, and some face ever-increasing frailty, declining health, disability, or even a pending operation. While it makes sense for these people to move to a nursing home where they can receive the appropriate level of care and attention, at Downsizing With Ease we see the majority of our clients elect to move to a retirement village before their health declines. This is a practical decision, as retirement villages with ongoing care are just one option and, quite often, if one partner becomes sick and needs a higher level of care, the other partner is close by and able to visit easily and as frequently as they please. In our experience, we regularly assist clients to move into a village, especially when the husband is the unwell partner, as it puts their mind at rest to know that their wife is in a supportive environment where she will have plenty of people around should anything happen to him.
3. Divorce/separation: Many of Downsizing With Ease’s clients contact us to help them move through the painful experience of separation and/or divorce, which usually requires the client to move from the family home to smaller, more affordable premises. These clients require special care and compassion to see them through this difficult time.
4. Time for change: They say a change is as good as a holiday, and many downsizers choose to up sticks and move to a smaller home to reap the benefits of a change of scene. In our experience, this is especially the case when there are too many memories in the old family home. Nothing says ‘new beginnings’ like a new home!
5. Defunct assets: The majority of downsizers simply no longer want or even need a spacious family home with all the trimmings. The days when the — play room, rumpus, tennis court, billiards room, home gym, swimming pool, home office, nursery, sauna, spa, garden (insert your preference here) — was in constant use are long gone. It’s time to move on and find an abode that’s suited perfectly to your current needs, family size and lifestyle.
6. Financial trouble: Changes in our fortunes often prompt a long, hard look at our finances and the resulting need to make some tough decisions. Many people who are facing a change in their financial situation often downsize out of a need to consolidate their assets and rethink their lifestyle. It’s a smart move.
7. Change of pace: Sometimes, we tire of our current home — or the neighbourhood is not how it used to be — and we simply desire a change of location that better suits our changing needs. If you’ve ever dreamed of living by the sea, next to a five-star golf course or would love a mountain view, downsizing is the way to go.
8. Accident/trauma: Some downsizers have unfortunately experienced a major life change through an accident or other trauma, which perhaps means they must move to premises with wheelchair access or appropriate medical equipment and services on-hand. Or they must move quickly to a new area to get away from a traumatic situation, such as domestic violence. Our experienced, professional team is here to help if you or a loved one are facing such difficult situations.
9. Death of a spouse: As if losing a life-partner isn’t traumatic enough, many widowed downsizers feel lost and overwhelmed and as though they are ‘rattling around’ their old house. Downsizing With Ease can step in to help you find a suitable retirement village and take care of the whole packing and moving process, so that you can get into a lovely new home and get on with your life.
For example, one client whom we’ll call June was living in a large apartment with spectacular views of Sydney Harbour from her bedroom and lounge room. June’s husband had passed away just months before and she was terribly lonely. They were the first residents to move into this apartment block 30 years before, and all of the neighbouring friends they met around that time had passed away or downsized to new homes. June desperately needed a change and called Downsizing With Ease in to help her pack and move to a beautiful new village. At the time, June said, “That is it for me; I am never moving again”! Well, June did move again. After a few very happy years at the retirement village, June found love again, remarried and moved with her new husband to another wonderful village.
10. Parent help: Many of our clients are children of parents who need to downsize and relocate to a more suitable home. Whether you are interstate, overseas or simply don’t have the time, Downsizing With Ease has had the pleasure of helping many families through the whole downsizing process when family members simply can’t be there to lend a hand.
Anecdotal evidence shows that downsizing to a smaller, more manageable home can help individuals cope better with life changes and move on with their lives with a more positive mindset and outlook. In fact, in 20 years, Downsizing With Ease has helped more than 5,000 clients make this transition and has ensured that their relocation or downsize move has been a positive and life-affirming experience.
What about you? Are you ready to downsize? What worries you most about moving on? Share your experiences and concerns in the comments section below.