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Making the Difficult Decisions Simple when Downsizing.

With so many aspects to consider when downsizing a home it’s no wonder many people feel overwhelmed and stuck in a decision making abyss. The most obvious is that you need to consider the physical aspects of moving. Then deciding what to keep, what to hand down to the next generation and what can be sold or donated. But what about the emotional decisions of where is the best place to live. Is staying close to familiar surrounds going to keep your social life intact. Is following the family to new a location going to give you the support you may need. And what about the most difficult part, deciding what memorabilia to keep with you and how to manage other family interested in the memorabilia. Finding out who wants what and how to make that fair for all. Downsizing isn’t an easy decision but there is help to make it less stressful and even enjoyable transition.

First Things First – Downsizing Begins with a Plan

A recent survey conducted by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute reveals that Downsizing is predominantly a decision made based on emotional factors and lifestyle improvements.  Commentators have been quick to respond to the recent incentives introduced by the Australian Government to encourage downsizing through financial incentive. From Choice – Budget Winners and Losers article. Super incentive for empty nesters to downsize – Homeowners living in properties with empty rooms will be encouraged to sell up and move into smaller accommodation. New rules will allow people to contribute an extra $300,000 from property sales to their super accounts, on top of the current $100,000-a-year cap. This will allow people to put some or all of the earnings from a property sale into their super account and take advantage of the discounted tax rate. Up to 50,000 properties a year could be freed up if empty-nesters moved into smaller houses. For senior Australians this added financial factor to your downsizing decision may be of some influence. You might like to read more about the financial impact in this article from ABC News. Though the fact remains the emotional and lifestyle element will be the key for most to making their decisions. The solution is to start with the environmental factors that will benefit your new lifestyle.

Step by Step Planning

Start your decision making process with a list that includes:

  • the ideal layout for my home e.g. single level, internal garage entry, number of bedrooms etc
  • outdoor area size and layout e.g. small courtyard with patch of lawn for my dog, garden shed etc
  • accessibility to transport and conveniences e.g. if you love going out for coffee with friends locations that are walking distance to cafe’s could be high on your list.
  • what hobby’s and sports groups are nearby
  • list of locations based on health and mobility factors as time goes by
  • what help do I need to reduce the items of this home e.g. professional organiser to support with planning and emotional decision making process
  • what physical help do I need to make the move to the new home e.g. removalist, home packing and unpacking

Begin to Organise Your Important Documents

An important factor to consider when downsizing is the changes you may need to make to the legal documents. Often we are so tied up with the physical aspects of a move that we forget the paperwork. In preparing this blog for you I contacted our trusted professionals in the area of wills.

“Something you may not have thought about regarding downsizing is how it may impact on your Will.  It could impact on the value of your estate (your personal assets when you die) and any specific gifts you have made in your Will.  So how might this be a concern?  Well if you have specified amounts of money or particular assets to be left to named persons the gifts may fail if there is insufficient money or the particular asset is no longer owned by you.  So if you have a Will you may need to review it and see if you need to update it.  If you don’t have a Will then you should take action and get one.” – The Wills Professionals 

There is so much to consider when downsizing. So, we are going to take it step by step over a series of blogs. Stay in touch for more on downsizing. The easiest way to get all the best tips and hints is to follow us on Facebook or receive our Outside the Box Monthly News + Blog by email, just fill in the form at the bottom of this page. Need to downsize soon? We can help you plan and physically give you the support you need to help you move. Have questions about downsizing your home? Contact me via the contact page or simply email me at [email protected] What is your greatest challenge to downsizing? Leave a comment below and let’s start a conversation. With gratitude from,

Carolyn