As the famous saying goes, “Home is where the heart is!”
It’s where you’ve created so many cherished memories over the years, watched your children grow up, spent quality time with your partner or celebrated with family and friends.
But when your children grow up and have flown the nest or you decide to retire, your family home may start to feel too large for you and the burden of high utility bills can seem too much to cope with.
For this reason, you might start considering downsizing in retirement and moving to a new location where you’ve always set your heart on.
However, downsizing is a highly personal choice and you should carefully consider whether it is right for you before you sell your property.
Whether you’re looking to simplify your life, save money, move closer to family, or enjoy a new adventure, downsizing during retirement can transform your happiness, bank balance and quality of life.
To help you weigh up your decision, our friendly team at Cobb Farr has put together a list of the pros and cons of downsizing in retirement so you can make a better-informed choice that aligns with your financial goals and desired lifestyle.
The pros of downsizing in retirement
1. You’ll save money
When you move to a smaller home, you could release equity that you could spend on other things like holidays, choose to work fewer hours, pay your children’s university fees more easily or even help them get on the property ladder by helping to pay their deposit.
A big attraction of downsizing is having the ability to live mortgage-free in your new property and enjoy a higher income in retirement. You’ll even pay less in closing costs and stamp duty for your new home, and reduce your utility bills and property taxes once you move in, giving you more money in that piggy bank for fun!
2. You’ll save time on cleaning and maintenance
Downsize to a smaller home in retirement and you will find it much easier to manage your home, especially when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs.
This will free up your time and help you focus more on what matters to you, whether this is spending time with family, exploring new hobbies or simply relaxing and enjoying your retirement.
3. You can relocate and enjoy a new lifestyle
When you retire, you stop needing to think about being close to work and can relocate to wherever suits your personality and needs, whether this is a remote Somerset cottage or a stunning Georgian period property in the heart of Bath.
This will give you the opportunity to have a fresh new start, live closer to the amenities you want, spend more quality time with family and potentially spark a brand-new social life.
The Cons of Downsizing
1. You could miss your old family home
Here at Cobb Farr, we understand that your home is much more than a property. It’s where you’ve created cherished memories of happy times with your partner, friends, children, or other family members.
For that reason, your home’s sentimental value can make it harder for you to let go and downsize during retirement.
2. You could have less space
Downsizing means that you’ll be living in a smaller property with less space for your belongings and furniture, and for guests to come and visit. As a result, you may need to declutter, get rid of some items, and make some lifestyle adjustments.
Having said that, this process can also be very therapeutic. With the clutter gone, you could feel happier and free from the financial and time burden these items often bring.
3. You might need to adjust to living in a smaller space
Of course, it can also take time to get used to living in a smaller home than you used to, especially if you’ve been living in your previous home for a long time. Many people love the feeling of making a fresh start although some may miss the space they used to have and need time to adjust.
4. You might miss your friends
When you relocate to another area when downsizing in retirement, you might need to leave behind your friends and any other connections in your current community, which can be challenging. On the other hand, this gives you a fantastic opportunity to make new friends and build an even better social circle.
Downsizing in retirement can be an astute choice if you want to simplify your life, save money, boost your retirement savings, enjoy more quality time with family and friends and explore a brand-new lifestyle.
However, it’s also a highly personal choice with many pros and cons that could influence your decision.
Start by weighing up the benefits such as reduced utility bills, increased savings, and the chance for a fresh start against the potential challenges of moving and consider whether this could be the right move for you during retirement.