Downsizing

 

The Transition to Senior Living

 

Property Focus In Sydney (2)

Perhaps you live in a two-story home and climbing stairs is becoming more difficult; perhaps  your home is just much bigger than you need. Or it may be that you would like to live in a more secure area and be closer to transportation.

 

Whatever the reason, you, like many seniors, may be thinking of selling your current home and buying something more suitable for your current and future needs. Thinking of the future, you may be thinking of a change. And this change could mean moving to a smaller home, a more convenient home, or community living. 

 

Change is rarely easy, and thinking of changing your home situation hits at the heart of two of our basic human needs – security and shelter. It is something that can positively or negatively affect the lives of everyone in the family.

 

The Senior Real Estate Specialists at Property Focus in Sydney can help you navigate the complexities of this change, from talking with families and evaluating needs, to selling and buying.  It helps to have a strategy for mapping out your transition to senior living:

 

Step 1:     Make a Plan

Moving from a much-loved family home is one of the most complex decisions a family can make. For seniors this decision is often also coming at a time when eyesight is failing, or other physical limitations are becoming more obvious. The move is a necessity. It can also be emotionally draining.

 

We strongly encourage you to map out a plan that fits your lifestyle and current and future needs. Take time to consider  your interests, financial situation, health, transport requirements, social interaction, preferred location and proximity to family and friends. Seek advice where you can, and write down the answers you find, as well as the questions.

 

You may decide you need to move, or you may decide that your current home, with alterations, would suit you just fine. It may be possible to adapt your home to suit your retired lifestyle by simplifying access, safety and maintenance. There are also a range of services that can give you the extra help you need. These services include domestic assistance, personal care, meal services, nursing care, and much more.  

 

Step 2:     Consider the Financial and Legal Implications

Chances are there is a good deal of money tied up in your property. Any changes you make can affect your financial well-being, including future benefits.

 

You may wish to get the help of a financial planner. There are risks in making financial decisions without fully understanding the details. An aged care financial planner will know the details and the questions that need to be answered, and can help you become more financially secure and help you to keep on track.

 

An elder lawyer could be beneficial in many parts of the sale of a senior home, in estate planning, in choices for independent or community living, and in the moving process itself. Because the regulations surrounding senior issues are so complex, selling your family home can have unforeseen affects, such as on social security benefits. 

 

If you are considering a move to a retirement village, it is also important to retain the services of an elder lawyer who specializes in retirement village and aged care contracts who can structure and evaluate legal documents and transactions in a way that protects your assets, benefits and rights. 

 

Step 3:     Communicate with Family and Friends

As you develop your plan for how you will live your senior years in comfort, security, and with the greatest amount of independence possible, bring your family into the decision making. Children, other relatives and friends are often great sounding boards for you to talk to for support every step of the way.    

 

Not only does the downsizing process affect seniors as individuals, it can impact the broader intergenerational landscape – a huge life change that involves the whole family, particularly adult children. By keeping the lines of communication open, you will be able to discuss any concerns with those who have your best interests at heart.  

 

Step 4:     The Best Option for You

Depending on your  situation, there is a downsizing solution to suit and it is important to do your research. Roughly speaking, downsizers in Australia fall into one of three categories: Baby Boomers (aged 49 to 67), The Silent Generation (aged 68 to 88) and The Greatest Generation (aged 89+).

 

There are respective housing options to explore from stay at home with in-home care services, to active independent living options, and low to high care aged care facilities. For more information on the options available, review the next few pages.

 

Step 5:     Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

You want the best price for your home and to make a smooth transition to senior living. That is why you should avail yourself of the services of  highly qualified professionals. One such professional must be a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES).

 

The Senior Real Estate Specialists at Property Focus in Sydney are accredited to work specifically with seniors. We are well aware of the unique and often complex issues that accompany senior real estate decisions. We are trained and experienced in the financial, legal, physical and emotional challenges senior clients face when they sell a long-held family home. Not only can we create a customized approach to marketing and selling your property, but we also can work with you to explore your housing options to ensure that your next home best serves your current and future needs. And when you need help from other professionals, we can tap our network and put you in touch with other qualified senior services.

 

Our passion is working with seniors to make this process as smooth as possible while actively negotiating on your behalf and closing the sale with an outstanding result. We at Property Focus in Sydney are passionate about what we do for our senior clients, employing empathy and discretion, and fostering trust.

 

When you are ready, call us at for a free consultation.

 

Step 6:     Evaluate your need for a Seniors Real Estate Specialist

The process of changing your living situation to accommodate your needs as a senior can be daunting, and it helps to have help.

 

One advantage to using an SRES agent from Property Focus in Sydney is that we already have a network of professionals and specialists who can provide a variety of senior services. These include downsizing and moving experts, financial planners, elder law and retirees services, aged care placement consultants, and an assortment of other seniors focused services. Our network of senior service providers can often take the pressure off family members to assist or act as project managers.

 

As you develop your plan, we can assist you in making decisions about whether one or more of these specialists would be right for you.

 

Step 7:     De-Clutter Your Home

Whether you are selling your home to move into other accommodations or simply downsizing to make way for more senior-friendly appliances and amenities, de-cluttering can be incredibly stressful.  It is ever harder for those seniors who have lived in the same home for decades, now facing the decision of what familiar and often treasured possessions to part with. It can be hard to know where to start.

 

When you engage the services of Senior Real Estate Specialists at Property Focus in Sydney, we will talk with you about whether a professional De-clutterer would be helpful. If so, this professional, who is a valued member of our resource team, will provide hands on assistance sorting through decades of memories and keepsakes. They will help you decide which to keep, and which to donate, auction, or dispose of in another way. 

 

Step 8:     Celebrate

When your plan is complete and you are either secured in a new home or secure in the home you have altered to suit your physical needs, it is time to celebrate.

 

Mark this transition in a way that suits you. You may want to invite close family and friends over for a small gathering, or to just acknowledge the transition yourselves with a quiet dinner at home. Whatever your choice, celebrate your taking this positive step towards securing your future, and towards embracing this place you now call home.

 

Step 9:     Moving Forward with Style

Socialize:  According to recent studies, those who stay socially and intellectually engaged live longer and healthier lives. The concept of retirement does not have to mean slowing down. Quite the opposite. It can mean having a new lease on life – enjoying every day by staying active.

 

Stay Healthy: Being healthy also contributes profoundly to a longer and more satisfying life. Whether you like tennis, golf or cycling, being physically active can lead to an increase in energy. In combination with great nutrition, life as a senior will mean a decreased risk of illness and fewer visits to the doctor or hospital, allowing you to participate more fully, and actively with family and friends.

 

Stay Happy: Finally, take care of your psychological well-being. The emotional impact of downsizing can often be underestimated. Throughout the process, keep your feelings in check and talk about them if you need. Likewise, after the event, take stock of how you feel about your new home and lifestyle. If necessary, discuss it with your nearest and dearest or seek advice from your GP. Although sometimes overwhelming, downsizing can be a positively life-changing experience.

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