Top financial tips for downsizing

Downsizing is an exciting time that normally sees significant changes to your lifestyle and your budget. Here are our Top 5 tips for anyone thinking about downsizing…

1. Find a community you want to be a part of

While normally in real estate the advice is “location, location, location” and proximity to family and friends and amenities is an important aspect, a big part of your enjoyment in a retirement community will be the interactions with other residents – to quote a great Australian movie “it’s the vibe”. Get to know the other residents by attending open days and other village events.

2. Understand your contract

Your legal ownership has wide-reaching implications so it is important to know what it is, what rights and responsibilities are attached to it (including after you leave) and the impacts on your pension entitlement and eligibility for rent assistance.

3. Do your sums

The costs of moving to a retirement community can vary widely. If you are comparing the costs of moving to one or another it may help to break the costs into three categories: the ingoing, the ongoing and the outgoing. There is no substitute for quality financial advice!

4. Have a budget

And make sure that it incorporates the costs associated with living in the community such as the general service charge or site fees together with your personal expenses such as utilities, food and entertainment. If you are going to receive extra services such as meals, domestic help or care make sure you include these on top of the other charges and then add in occasional expenses such as holidays and Christmas so you know you can afford it.

5. Seek advice

Crunching all of the numbers can be complicated. A financial adviser who specialises in this area can help you get it right. It’s also important to seek legal advice to ensure that you have up-to-date Powers of Attorney and a valid will to ensure you have a trusted person that will act on your behalf and you don’t have tribunals or courts to making important decisions for you.