Downsizing can make you happier, healthier and wealthier… Why haven’t you done it? 81



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Some people seem to think that downsizing is a part of the ageing process that they don’t want to go through. It’s often seen as a difficult and timely process that ultimately leaves you with fewer belongings, in a smaller home with fewer memories. But the reality is that there is incredible benefits to downsizing that aren’t highlighted enough.

Downsizing is an opportunity to refresh yourself and your life. It is a chance to have a new start and this often ties in with the golden age of retirement. Last year we surveyed the Starts at 60 community and there was an even split 50-50 between people who wanted to downsize at some stage and people who didn’t want to downsize at some stage.

But before you make up your mind, you might like to consider these benefits to downsizing when you retire.



Downsizing to sell the family home is a financially strong decision when you look at the numbers. A typical downsizing move could mean selling the family home and instead buying an apartment or unit. According to Real Estate website, the median house price in Brisbane was $677,500 in November 2014 whereas the median unit price was $500,000. This means that you have more cash in the pocket heading into retirement to either spend on enjoying experiences and travel or reinvest in other areas. In smaller properties and complexes utilities and rates are often less and downsizing means bringing less belongings with you so you have the opportunity to make some more money through selling furniture and belongings you no longer need. While downsizing might seem like a lot of effort, the financial benefits are significant and you can tailor your plan to the lifestyle you’d like to enjoy in retirement.



Downsizing has health benefits for retirees too that are scarcely recognised. Firstly, it’s a new start. Think back to every new phase and new start you’ve had in your life – it almost always coincides with boosted energy and a positive attitude. You also have less stress after the downsizing process as financial stress is a lesser burden and you can spend less time cleaning and maintaining a family home that after 30 odd years of owning is likely to need a paint job, the carpet replaced and renovations. You know the go, there’s always something to do around the house! Getting rid of that obligation means that you can get outside or back into the community and start doing things that give yourself a health boost.



This is perhaps the most important one – your happiness. Most people who have downsized found that it brought them incredible happiness and it’s perfectly logical. Downsizing means less responsibility financially so less stress and more to be positive about. It means fewer belongings so you can value the things that really matter. It also means that you can do more of what you love. Downsizing makes travelling easy, especially if you’re in a unit complex or even a village – you can simply lock up and leave! Downsizing adds a minimalistic simplicity to your life that benefits your mental health greatly.


So if you’re sitting on the fence when it comes to downsizing, think about the kind of lifestyle you want to enjoy and whether this could be your fast-tracked way of living it.

And, if you’re concerned about the actual process, try setting yourself a challenge for the year and throw away, give away, donate or sell one item from you home a day. By the end of it you’ll realise just how easy it is to part with your things and belongings when you aren’t going through rapid change. This makes the final move much easier.


Tell us, have you downsized? Have you downsized? How has your life changed? What have you loved most about it?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. My husband and i downsized 3 years ago and it was the best move we ever made.We have a smaller house,less cleaning and maintainance and we pocketed a decent amount of money after the purchase of the new house.It is all good and well to feel sentimental about your house but your memories will still be with you after you move.You really won’t regret it.

  2. We downsized from acreage to a pocket handkerchief. I had to stop gardening and find other things to do so my husband could keep busy. He struggled for a while, but has rediscovered fishing, started lapidary club and bowls and joined men’s shed. It’s not just about the house.

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  3. A really positive experience for us. Getting rid of the clutter is cathartic & we’re keeping going that way too. We don’t want to collect too much again.

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  4. My wife Glenys and myself downsized five yrs ago. We sold our home which had a large high maintenance garden.
    We moved into a retirement village in Albury. My wife was battling a second bout of cancer but is now ok.
    We are really now enjoying life to the fullest. Garden maintained and lawns cut weekly. We come and go as we please and socialise when we want to and whom we choose.
    We now have the opportunity to go house sitting when we please and sometimes for three to four months at a time. Through this we have made many life long friends. As far as we are concerned life is great.We are not millionaires and never will be but because we downsized we are managing to live a comfortable retirement and lifestyle.

  5. I am doing it now but also relocating when the house is sold. It’s been a difficult decision, but at the end of the day it is my decision. I am single, so a smaller house and land will benefit me. My choice is an over 50’s Village on the Sunshine Coast. Luckily my daughter is on hand to advise and push me to let go of things and we’ve planned it all. I’m surprised at how easy it has been and I am looking forward to doing more travel and being retired but not tired.

  6. Unlike people who downsize, we went the other way. We bought a small acreage with a pair of four bedroom villas, swimming pool and big shed. We now have family living close by to look after the pets when we go away and see grandchildren on a daily basis. Meanwhile we are happier than we have ever been. There is also a lot to say for having space around you.

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