What is rightsizing?

Rightsizing essentially means moving into a home that suits your current needs. Choosing to rightsize makes good financial sense for many people approaching retirement, as larger homes often mean large outgoings and require more maintenance. While many people struggle with the thought of moving, the benefits for those who do are considerable. As well as releasing equity, moving into a smaller home can remove the responsibility of maintenance, increase your disposable income and enable you to spend more time on your hobbies and interests.

It’s also a unique opportunity to start afresh, live somewhere new, meet new people and take your life in a new direction. Here are four important steps to consider:

1. Do your homework

On paper, rightsizing is simply moving from a larger property to a smaller one. However, the property market is complex and it is worth researching property prices in the areas you are interested in.

If you haven’t moved for a while, we also recommend setting a sum aside for the often ‘hidden’ costs of appointing an estate agent, conveyancing fees and stamp duty. While our Hassle-free move service can help you make light work of all these, it is worth considering the potential costs first.

What’s more, it pays to remember that moving to a smaller home may not always be cheaper, especially in more desirable areas

2. Have a clear plan

Without careful planning, looking for the right home can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. So it’s important to know what you want from a new house, before you begin your search. Maybe you want to be closer to friends and family? Perhaps you have always wanted to live in the country? Or maybe you are just looking for a change of scenery?

Wherever you choose to look, one key consideration is cost. Rightsizing should ultimately give you a lump sum from the sale of your home and moving into a smaller more efficient house should reduce your outgoings. For this reason, many rightsizers choose a new-build property. As well as being more energy efficient and cheaper to run, these can also be easier to maintain, leaving you with extra time and money.

While weighing up the finances and your wishes for the perfect home is never easy, many find that the new breed of retirement communities provide a happy balance. Designed especially for retirees they offer beautiful new homes in landscaped grounds, the freedom to live life your way, and easy access to a range of useful communal amenities. So you can enjoy the privacy of your own home, a place in a community, an active social life, and care and support if you need it.

3. Leave the clutter behind

For many, the largest obstacle when it comes to rightsizing is the thought of leaving well-loved possessions behind. While it’s true, you will need to select the things that matter most to you, this doesn’t have to be a compromise. On the contrary, think of it as an opportunity to get rid of the things that you don’t use, reinvent your wardrobe and keep your new home clutter-free.

Here are a few tips for taking the strain out of decluttering:

  1. If you don’t use it, lose it – things that are gathering dust at the back of the cupboard, clothes that no longer fit and broken objects are a great place to start.
  2. Map out your new space – to help you gauge how much clutter you need to lose, take a closer look at your new home. Book an appointment to view a showhome and consider the cupboards, wardrobes and storage available to you. Plan out where everything will live in this new space and try and be ruthless when it comes to your possessions.
  3. Make money out of decluttering - by being smart with online auction sites like eBay or Gumtree, you can turn the things you no longer use into a tidy sum, and ensure they go to a good home. If the items you are throwing out are of little, or no value, consider giving them to charity, or friends and family.
  4. Give yourself plenty of time – decluttering takes time and sorting through box after box can be tiring. So start well before the move and give yourself plenty of breaks.
  5. Don’t feel guilty for keeping the things you love – part of the joy of decluttering is that you discover what matters to you. So if you absolutely can’t part with something, don’t worry. That often means it’s meant to stay.
  6. Start small – the key to decluttering your home is to start somewhere. Simply rearranging a kitchen drawer can make all the difference and take you a step closer to a clutter-free home.

If the thought of wading through boxes still seems daunting, your new home company may be able to help. For example at Brio, we offer a complimentary Hassle-free Move service that helps you at every step of the way. From arranging an estate agent and packing and sorting your belongings, to moving in and redirecting your mail, we can help. Click here to find out more.

4. See the positives

It’s easy to think that ‘rightsizing’ will mean compromising on your space, lifestyle and even independence, but the reality couldn’t be more different.

Rightsizing really can be the step forward you need to live the life you want. For example, moving to a retirement community not only guarantees you the privacy of your own place and frees you from the burden of maintaining your own home, but it also opens the door to a world of new opportunities, and places you at the heart of a community of likeminded people.

And with fewer chores to occupy your time, and more income, you can take up new interests, pursue your passions and make the most of every day. What’s more, you won’t have to travel far to find the amenities you need. From brasseries and bars to landscaped gardens and exercise trails, you find everything on your doorstep, plus plenty of space to socialise, meet friends and spend time with your family.

5. Don’t put it off

Sometimes, when couples have different needs, wishes and priorities, rightsizing and moving can feel like a step too far. However, the longer you leave it, the harder the process becomes.

While choosing to move is one of the biggest decisions you can take, moving into a home that offers you and your partner a wide range of activities, care and support can be life-changing.

If you are considering rightsizing, but feel that staying in your current property is the easier option, it’s worth remembering that retirement communities offer the best of both worlds – the space to be yourself and a network of support when you need it.

When you consider that you can retain the independence you enjoy now, own your own home, reduce your outgoings and spend more time doing the things you love, rightsizing really is worth a closer look.

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