When you retire, downsizing makes a lot of sense. The kids have long since flown the nest, their rooms are now collecting dust and the maintenance of your large family home is getting harder. Why would you spend your retirement in a half empty house when you could move somewhere more manageable, in an area of your dreams and release the equity to kick off your retirement with a bang?
If your retirement is round the corner and you’re considering downsizing your home, this post will help explore the various benefits of downsizing, as well as the best way to go about it. The hardest part will be deciding how to spend all of the leftover cash.
Benefits of downsizing for retirement
The chances are that downsizing from a large family home to a smaller property will result in a sizable leftover lump sum. With this money you’ll be able to pay off your mortgage, buy your new home outright or just have a nice chunk of change to act as a cushion for life after retirement. Splash out on a long holiday, spoil the grandkids or save it for a rainy day. Spend it however you would like – it’s your hard-earned money after all!
Cheaper cost of living
By downsizing, it’s very likely that your utility bills, council tax and maintenance costs will all experience a similar downscaling. Smaller properties require less energy to heat, are generally susceptible to lower council tax and have both less chance of maintenance mishaps, which will be easier to remedy when they do occur. We know, life isn’t all about money but the financial benefits of moving to a smaller home cannot be underestimated. As they say, look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.
Live where you want
When looking for a smaller property with money to play with, you open up your options. From urban apartments to country cottages, the world is literally your oyster. In fact, many retirees choose to invest the money they make from downsizing in a second property overseas. Spend your winters sunning yourself in warmer climes and the rest of the year making the most of the British summer, enjoying the best of both worlds.
Have a clear out
What better excuse to tackle that build-up of belongings in the loft than when downsizing your home? If you’re like most people, years of clutter has probably accumulated in any viable storage space in your house. From the car garage to the cupboard under the stairs, most homes in the UK have acquired a surplus of ‘stuff’ that is either no longer needed or requires proper storage in a more effective space. Those items that you can’t bring yourself to say goodbye to will struggle to fit into your smaller home, which is where self storage can help…
How to downsize for retirement
- Tell your friends and family – get your kids, grandkids, friends, neighbours and anyone else over to take back their belongings and anything else you no longer need off your hands. Donate, recycle or responsibly dispose of all other clutter so that only your treasured possessions remain.
- Get sorted – pack your belongings away using sturdy boxes, remembering not to over pack as boxes and their contents may break in transit. Also remember to keep hold of any old newspapers to use as padding in boxes. Make sure to mark each box and keep an inventory so you know exactly what items are in each box.
- Find a self storage facility – a self storage facility will not only be able to help pack your items and supply industrial strength boxes, but they can collect them too, saving you a great deal of time and energy. Renting a self storage unit will allow your new downsized home to remain clutter free, while you can rest easy in the knowledge that your belongings are safely under lock and key in a secure self storage facility.