How to get your kids onboard with your downsizing plans

Nov 07, 2019
Downsizing is a natural step, but it can be hard to get your adult kids on board. Source: Getty

So, your children have all moved out of home and you’re enjoying your new-found independence. The house is a lot quieter and suddenly the extra bedrooms seem a bit unnecessary. Downsizing seems like the obvious next step, but there’s only one problem – your kids don’t want you to.

It’s natural for children to have some concerns about their parents moving into a new life stage, but it’s important to remember that this is your decision to make.

Whether they’re feeling nostalgic and can’t bear the thought of you selling the home they grew up in or they have some objections to the location you have in mind, if you want to ensure that your kids are onboard with your decision before you take the leap, there’s a few things to consider.

Listen to their feelings and concerns

Communication is key when it comes to addressing sensitive issues with family members. They might be having trouble grasping the idea of you no longer living in the home they grew up in and all the memories that go with that.

Be gentle with their feelings and reassure them that just because you’re moving out of the family home, the memories created there will still remain. If their concerns are around where you’re planning to relocate to, perhaps a visit to the property will change their mind.

Explain your point of view

Let them know why you feel like the time is right for you to move on. If they can understand why downsizing is so important to you, they’ll be more likely to get onboard and support your exciting new change. Make sure you stress that this is something you’ve been thinking about for a long time, and not a rash decision.

Involve them in your decision-making

There’s lots to be said for getting your kids involved in your downsizing plans. We all like to feel like our opinions are important, so discussing plans with your kids and asking for their advice will make them feel like you value their input. If you’re looking to move into a retirement village, arrange a tour of the premises so that they can help you choose the best option.

Present the benefits

If you’re still unsure about where to start, here are some benefits of downsizing that you can present to your kids to help shift their point of view:

  • Financial aspect
    Not only is downsizing a practical option when you have so much extra space, it’s also a financially-savvy decision that will set you up for retirement and beyond. You’re likely to sell at a profit, which will free up additional funds to finally book that bucket list adventure or visit interstate children more frequently. You’ll also save money on rates, electricity and other household bills.
  • Less maintenance
    A smaller home and yard means you’ll spend less time cleaning and maintaining the lawn, freeing up your time to spend doing the things you love – like visiting your kids or grandchildren.
  • A chance to de-clutter
    We’re all guilty of hoarding to some degree, and with less space to fill, downsizing means you’ll have to channel your inner Marie Kondo and get rid of any unwanted household items.
  • Lifestyle change
    Your priorities have now changed and you want a home that reflects that. While you might have felt nervous going away and leaving a big house, a smaller home or apartment allows you to lock up and leave, safe in the knowledge that it’s secure and will be easy to maintain in between trips away.
  • Location, location
    Selling your family home means you get to choose exactly where you want to live. You could move closer to friends and family, or finally realise your life-long dream of living by the beach.

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Have you downsized your home? How did your kids take the news?

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