The Australian senior population is growing, and by 2016, more than 25% of the population of Sydney, and 31% of that of the rest of New South Wales is expected to be senior citizens. Most own their own homes, and many, like you, are or will soon be looking at selling their homes and assessing alternative housing situations.
For many older Australians, selling the family home means selling the symbols of a lifetime of memories, particularly if you raised a family in your current home. The mere idea can be daunting and emotional. Several years ago, after seeing a glaring unmet need in the lack of services for seniors making this change, we decided to do something about it. We have been focusing much of our professional growth efforts on learning about the needs of seniors, and offering much-needed coordinated services beyond property sales success.
Selling a home you have lived in for decades, or moving when you are emotionally, and / or physically challenged is draining. Yet there are complex circumstances that can’t be avoided, and many of these are issues that rarely emerge when someone younger chooses to move. Let’s look these issues and just how unique they are.
If the home you are moving from is where your children grew up, they may have strong opinions about whether, when, and how you should sell, even though they want the best for you. And many of these adult children are seniors themselves, and they see their own future in their parent’s move, sometimes strengthening the resistance to change. It can be difficult at first, but taking the time to have honest conversations and include them in the planning process where appropriate can make all the difference.
It is not just the children who have an emotional attachment to the home where the milestones of family life took place. Letting go has its own unique challenge for you as well, and needs to be undertaken with care.
After decades in the same home you probably have more “stuff” than you need, particularly if you are downsizing and just cannot fit it all in the new home. Time must be spent deciding what to keep, what to give away, and what to totally let go of. And it is one thing to make this decision; it is another to carry it out, particularly if you find that you have physical limitations that make the process even more exhausting.
Deciding on your next place to live must include a close evaluation not only of your current physical needs, but also what might be on the horizon. As a senior, you are at least beginning to feel the effects of aging, and the potential for failing health, eyesight, etc., must figure prominently in your selection for a new home. A good place to start is the present. If your eyesight is failing, for instance, what does that say for how it will fare in 5 years? Will you still be able to drive? If not, you may want to consider a new home near transportation services and/or within walking distance of the places you might want to frequent.
Anyone selling a home and buying another will need to look at finances, but seniors have additional issues to consider that can have significant and unique effects on financial health for their long term plans. Seeking financial advice also ensures you fully understand how the sale of your home will impact on any Government Income Support entitlements you may be receiving given your individual circumstances.
Our approach includes time to consider the above, and more. As Seniors Housing Advisors, we understand these unique needs. We also work with a network of experienced professionals who can provide practical solutions and resources in all aspects of the transition to retirement living.We are experts at working with your chosen real estate agent, to get you the best price possible, while our experience and understanding of this complex landscape allows us to offer services sensitive to your particular situation. At Lifestyle Transition Services we believe that information is powerful, so we have set up a blog to continue the dialogue on the issues effecting seniors today. You can check it out here.