During retirement many have limited income and with the cap on utility costs increasing and council tax looking set to rise in many areas, those in retirement are likely to suffer. In addition, the strain of maintaining and cleaning a larger property can become too much and if those who are no longer working wish to spend their retirement travelling, spending time with family and friends and generally enjoying themselves all these chores can become a burden.
There are several options available to those who are considering downsizing. Some sell up and move to rented accommodation, which removes the need to conduct repairs and also frees up money for other pursuits. Others prefer to simply purchase a smaller property. Gillian Girling, of Girlings Retirment Rentals, suggests that “one of the many benefits of downsizing and renting in later life is lower energy bills, giving people more to spend on enjoying their retirement.”
Many people of retirement age are recognized the many benefits of downsizing, for many the following are their main motivation:
Financial – Releasing some equity from their home, is one of the top reasons older people decide to rent after being home owners for many years. They wish to spend some of their savings enjoying their retirement, or to help family member who wish to purchase a home.
Energy bills – Large family homes inevitably cost a great deal to heat, they attract large council tax and water rates and electricity costs can be high. Whereas, a smaller house, or an apartment is often more efficient to heat and would offer lower running costs.
Reallocating – When retiring people’s priorities often change. Many have a family home which was near to transport links for commuting to work or near schools for their children and tend to choose to reallocate to nice market towns or coastal location. Also, moving to more urban area means that they no longer need to drive to reach shops or amenities.
Socializing – Retirement developments usually offer wide range of social activities and events such as gardening; afternoon teas; board games nights and others; which offers those in their retirement a welcome sense of community.
Support – Older people may wish to move closer to family or friends, so that they can assist in looking after grandchildren or be closer for their children to visit them. Those who live in a retirement property often choose to do so as they have the luxury of having 24 emergency call system in hand as well as an on-site manager who will be able to assist with any issues.
Decluttering – Retirees living in large homes usually end up using only a few rooms and the rest of the house is usually full of clutter because ‘maintaining so much space is too difficult and takes up a lot of time that could be spent doing something more enjoyable’ says professional organizer Marty Stevens-Heebner.
In conclusion, Gillian states “Downsizing and can be a wise choice for many, giving people a new lease of life in retirement. They can declutter and no longer have to worry about ongoing property maintenance, plus they are likely to have more money in their pocket.”