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Downsizing for retirement: What to consider


Downsizing for retirement can be a great way to simplify your life and save money, but there can be more to it than just having a garage sale and buying an apartment. Here are a few things to consider before making the big move. 

What are your goals?

Everyone has different downsizing goals. Whether it’s to be closer to friends and family, save on mortgage repayments, access better healthcare, or simply to spend less time cleaning the house, define what you want to achieve. Doing so will help you make the best choices. 

Where do you want to live? 

Thinking of moving across town? Maybe interstate, or even overseas? Consider the location and whether it’ll help you achieve your goals. Spend time getting to know the area, both pros and cons. If possible, walk around, grab a coffee and chat with locals.  Better yet, act like a local and spend an extended holiday where you think you’d like to move. 

What type of home do you want?

The list of homes you can downsize to is seemingly endless — a smaller house, an apartment, a caravan, an RV, a houseboat, a lifestyle community, or perhaps even a cruise ship. The type of home you choose will largely be impacted by your goals, so consider these before making your decision.

At Apia, we know that everyone's living situation is different. That's why we have a range of Home Insurance options, such as village or apartment insurance, to cover what’s important to you and your lifestyle.

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When should you downsize? 

If you need to sell your home and buy a new one, is now the right time? Delaying downsizing can help preserve your wealth, but your timing should also be influenced by the economy, property market and interest rates. You may want to check out the Moneysmart Retirement Planner which could help you calculate your retirement income.  

On the flipside, some choose to downsize sooner rather than later. Benefits like being able to make decisions for yourself and enjoy your new home might outweigh the financial considerations. 

Consider home maintenance costs 

Downsizing can often result in reduced costs associated with owning a home, but if saving money is high on your priority list it’s good to be certain. Before you move, here are a few things you might want to consider: 

  • Check to see what the local government fees are in your new area.
  • Get a new home and contents insurance quote. Your insurance might cost less if you’re moving to a smaller place — especially if you’re getting rid of some trinkets before you do. But insurance premiums can vary significantly based on location. Getting a quote for your new potential address may help you plan.
  • Identify what renovations, if any, might be needed and budget accordingly. A smaller home will often cost less in maintenance, but not always.
  • Consider the cost of living in your new area as things like groceries, petrol, healthcare and public transport can differ across communities.  

Consider refinancing your home loan

If you’re thinking of refinancing as part of your downsize, it can help to chat to a home loan specialist. Suncorp Mobile Lenders are available to meet at a time and place that suits you, seven days a week. 

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Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency Pty Ltd (Apia) ABN 14 099 650 996 AR 239591 is an authorised representative of AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI), the issuer of Home, Landlord, Car, Caravan, Motorhome, Boat, Travel & Compulsory Third Party Personal Injury (CTP) Insurance.

Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance

Banking products are issued by Suncorp-Metway Limited ABN 66 010 831 722 AFSL No 229882 Australian Credit Licence 229882 (“Suncorp Bank”) to approved applicants only. Please read the relevant Product Information Document, Lending Fees and Charges and Home Package Plus Terms and Conditions before making a decision regarding any Suncorp Bank products. Fees, charges, terms and conditions apply and are available on request or on our Product Information Documents and Forms page.

This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

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