BENEFITS OF DOWNSIZING
Unlock equity and improve your lifestyle
Reduce cleaning and maintenance on your current home
Reduce mowing, gardening and backyard work
Move closer to the things you love – friends, family, cafes, restaurants, beaches and clubs.
Move to within walking distance of services, communities and transport
“Rightsize” your life – live in a home that is suitable to your needs rather than living in a half empty house.
Reduce the cost of running your home including power, gas and water
Close your door and travel, without worrying about your garden and house
Reduce stress (see what the experts say below)
Be in control, don’t wait to have the decisions made for you
Hear from people who have already downsized
“I was very apprehensive about moving to an apartment but once I got here I thoroughly enjoy living here. I thought that if you go into an apartment you’d be shut away and you wouldn’t see anybody, whereas previously we had neighbours we got on well with. But just the reverse has happened here. We’ve met so many new people here and we have drinks with them, we go out for dinner with them but we don’t live in each other’s pocket. It’s just been totally enjoyable.”
SOURCE: AHURi research report
What the experts say
In 2014 the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) at The University of NSW published a research report which found:
If downsizing occurs under crisis and without forward planning due to sudden health, financial or other stressors, it can have a negative impact on wellbeing.
Many participants thought that currently people downsize too late in life, and that there was a need to encourage people to do it sooner as downsizing becomes too challenging psychologically and physically for people over about 75 years of age.
If the process of downsizing was successful, with older people taking control over the transitions they wish to make and moving into a better housing situation that meets their needs, it could lead to a real sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Forum participants also discussed how difficult downsizing and moving is, and how it becomes even more difficult in later life.
As one participant stated, an older person who has lived in the same house their whole adult life may have no idea of how to look for something new. They noted that there was a real lack of services to assist in this decision-making process and the practical components of the move, such as cleaning and renovating the house before placing it on the market, managing the sale process and the physical relocation of belongings—all things that are particularly physically taxing in older age.
Information about housing options needs to be readily available in clear and accessible formats with particular attention on facilitating financial decision making if downsizing was to be promoted to an ageing population as a viable and realistic housing option in the future.