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Seven tips for downsizing in retirement

By Andrew Bell

For many people, retirement is an ideal time in life to cut back and allow themselves to live more freely. These seven tips can help ease the downsizing process.

  1. Give things away
    Rather than hoard possessions, get an early start on distributing them to the loved ones you plan on leaving them to. It’ll save you room on storage and help even a small living space feel more open.
  2. Rent for yourself
    Renting is a great way to keep yourself from being tied down. If you rent a house or apartment year by year, there’s less holding you to a single location, and you’ll be better able to relocate as you please. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission suggests renting to try out an area with lower commitment.
  3. Consider equity release
    If you haven’t finished paying the mortgage on your house, but no longer want to live in it, you can look into an equity release to free up your finances.
  4. Choose a smaller home
    Even if you’re not retired, people with adult children don’t need as much space in their homes as younger families. Save yourself extra steps and money on utilities and move into a smaller home.
  5. Convert to dual occupancy
    If you’re not willing or ready to part with your home, you could consider converting it to a dual occupancy. This way, you can live in one half of the house and either rent or sell the other half.
  6. Rent out a room
    Less drastic than converting to dual occupancy is renting out a room in your house. If you still have a mortgage, rent payments can go towards paying it off, and if you fully own the house, it’s pure income.
  7. Make use of resources
    Independence is incredibly important to many retirees, but services like the Commonwealth Home Support Programme can assist with daily tasks like shopping, cleaning, personal care and home maintenance to help keep retirees from getting bogged down with errands. Additionally, the Australian Taxation Office has resources to help manage the contribution of up to $300,000 from the sale of your home to your super.

Most importantly, amidst downsizing and the bustle of transitioning into a new stage of your life, be sure to enjoy your retirement! The rest of your life has only just begun.

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