Downsizing is really upsizing 18



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Recently, in magazines and newspapers there have been a number of articles about the pros and cons of baby boomers downsizing. It is a topic that is stirring up some emotional responses such as, “No one is going to tell me where I am going to live!” Or, “I’m too attached to leave my house”.

We downsized three years ago and have never looked back. The family home with three living areas was a good asset, however, with the children long gone, did we really need all that space? The answer for us was a decisive, “No”. The extra capital is invested and producing income. Many other baby boomers have decided to downsize. The rapid increase of apartments in Australian capital cities confirms this.

While everyone is different, there are a few critical issues here:

  1. In the last 30 years, the cost of living has tripled while the price of houses has gone up eight-fold.
  1. Your primary residence — no matter what its value — is not included in the assets test for pensions which means multi-millionaires can receive a pension.
  1. Governments are under budgetary stress with the population rapidly ageing.

Another article spoke of the number of seniors receiving the pension and yet living in homes worth a lot of money, in one case three million dollars. This woman was very asset rich and yet cash poor. So this begets the question whether the Australian taxpayer is subsidising this woman who is receiving her pension. If she were to sell her home and downsize to a million dollar home, she would actually upsize her income. It would also upsize her lifestyle where she could travel and enjoy pursuits that she could not currently afford.

An additional plus for this woman would be that she would have less house to maintain with lower ongoing costs. We know someone who was encouraged to downsize and refused to do so. She has been unable to look after herself, let alone her home. The home is falling into disrepair and is losing value.

Of course for some, what is most important is tending to the garden and staying close to home. It ultimately comes down to what a person wants; nostalgic attachment to a home or a lifestyle change? To us, downsizing has a lot of upsides.


What do you think? Have you downsized? Or are you considering it? What has been your thought process? Tell us below.

Dr Ely Lazar and Dr Adele Thomas

  1. The age gap between m e and my children has widened with their need to work hard to maintain their lifestyles and just survive… their free time at home is precious for them to catch up with their own families and grandchildren……which I agree is essential for all of them but mostly the next generation who have to be embraced into family living…..We oldies become optional extras to all families so joining a group of similar minded poeple would be a good way to be connected to like minded friends…..

  2. Yes, moved to an over 50’s resort. Love it. Don’t wait till you are too old to enjoy the fab facilities

  3. Round here buying into a village costs as much s our home is worth, leaving no money for levies. We’d be severely restricting our lifestyle with no gain.

  4. We love our smaller home. Still have all the amenities we want but less house and a tiny garden. Couldn’t be happier. Lots of younger people and families around us.

  5. Children all left home we
    Lived in a big home large yard
    So in our 50s we moved into a new unit 3 bedrooms which still gave us room for family and friends to stay we have been they nearly 20 years and love it
    We have set it up so we are able to travel and not worry to much about the garden
    Our great neighbours help out with old pet so we do not have to worry about her when we have breaks away
    We now finding our few friends now down sizing in there 60s and finding it a great strain
    Met some lovely neighbours and have made great friendships
    I find some high fence homes can make you isolated
    But a unit one often meets our neighbours for a chat
    Even offers of cutting our lawn and cups of tea

  6. My house is the right size for me, but after a couple of months living in it I am very disappointed with the quality etc. Suppose I have no-one to blame but myself, however that does not help and has left me very depressed.

  7. Yes we are thinking about and 2015 will be the year our garden is beautiful , but hard on our bodies but looking far ward to moving hugsoo

  8. We are investigating downsizing as the home we have is far too large with too much land and garden and I see a situation of the family home depreciating through lack of maintenance.
    Early days yet as we feel we have time but we have been out and about at weekends looking at open inspections to get a feel of the market.
    Need to learn how to sell our own home privately as I dont want to hand over about 10/15k commission to an agent, us oldies cant afford that as we dont work to recover it

  9. In our 70s both worked very hard for what we have,nothing to do with anyone else what people do or how they want to live,personally I can see two sides of downsizing….

  10. With only one child we bought a home for the three of us. Now there are two but grandkids fit snuggly. Just right for our simple needs.

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