Ask any working Australian and they will tell you that they’re counting down the days until they can successfully retire and embrace a life of leisure. When the time comes to finally hang up those working boots after years of service and commitment to a career or business, it’s a time of change – a time for realignment – a time to reassess the plans in the next chapter of your life.
As retirees seek a new lifestyle, a common consideration is around downsizing to a property that is more suited to their new priorities. Whilst it can be a challenge to find a property that ticks all of the boxes, you can start with some essential considerations when in the research phase, that will enable you to laser focus on what is important when finding the perfect downsizer property for your retirement.
A Snapshot Look at Australian Retirement
According to these figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 55% of people over 55 years old were retired in 2018-19 which increased from 53% during 2016-17, and of these retirees, the average age of retirement was 55.4 years.
Even though most retirees have plans to step away from work at 65 years of age, the official pension age is scheduled to gradually increase to 67 years over the next few years as identified here on the Department of Social Services site.
What does this mean? With an average life expectancy in Australia of 86 years (women) and 83 years (men), financial planning will become an essential component for retirees who will likely be living off their retirement savings for between 15 and 30 years – thus showing that price point is a key factor in the decision-making process of finding an ideal property.
However, there are additional factors to focus on aside from just the price of your future property.
Popular Reasons For Downsizing
As outlined in a research paper released in August 2019 by the ARC Centre for Excellence in Population Ageing Research, the most common reasons that motivate downsizer decisions include;
Wanting to move to a smaller house;
Being closer to family;
A change in lifestyle preferences;
Seeking a lower maintenance property;
Reducing financial strain.
Whilst these common reasons account for a majority of the decision-making process on paper, the research document also stipulated the importance of ensuring the property still felt like home, as the old expression goes, “home is where the heart is.”
Rightsizing Not Downsizing
The process of finding a new property in light with your retirement plans can often be defined as ‘downsizing’, however a more suitable terminology should be ‘rightsizing’ – the process of moving to a new property which meets the changing needs of your household, within a location and community that is aligned to your new lifestyle. It is here where you find the true soul of a property in a process that ensures it is perfectly aligned with your tastes, preferences and needs.
It’s not just about reducing the size of your property, it’s also about reducing clutter, saying goodbye to unwanted household items and finding a property with the “perfect fit” that has all of the facilities, functions, styling and community benefits to ensure a retirement of comfort, support and accessibility.
Property Preferences For Retirees And Downsizers
Once retirees are no longer required to commute to and from their workplace, this opens up a world of possibilities in terms of a new neighbourhood in which to call home. Whilst retirement villages are always a common consideration, there is nothing quite like the freedom and convenience of owning your own property that is designed and tailored to your new downsizer lifestyle.
Typical preferences for retirees in search of a downsized property include;
Spacious internal living quarters with quality finishes and appliances;
Low maintenance facilities within a lock-and-leave community;
Spare bedroom/s to cater for visiting guests and family;
A small outdoor space to use for leisure, relaxation and entertaining;
An ideal location within a vibrant community that is rich in local amenities;
Ample storage space for household items, hobbies and interests;
Protected properties which offer high levels of security and privacy.
As listed in the Effective downsizing options for older Australians report by the Analysis & Policy Observatory, two thirds of Australian downsizers identified three-bedroom properties as the ideal configuration. Of those surveyed in the report which came out in February 2020, 58% said they would use the spare room as a permanent guest room, with 50% using the room as a study, and a further 31% said the spare room would be for children and/or grandchildren to use when visiting.
Elizabeth Residences – The Perfect Retirement Retreat
The developers from Elizabeth Residences understand the array of factors to consider when looking to downsize into a suitable property, and as a result, have tailored a stunning series of premium apartments accordingly. Located within oceanfront luxury, each property ticks the aforementioned boxes and delivers a stylish aesthetic that is matched with the surrounding natural elements of Cottesloe.
With just 6 properties remaining in this premium coastal development, now is the time to secure an ideal property that is customised to your retirement, located within one of Perth’s most iconic locations.
Want to find out more the process involved with transitioning into a boutique apartment? Or need some guidance on how to sell your existing property whilst securing the finances you need to downsize? You can do this by booking a transition appointment with our team, or you can register your interest with us before these iconic properties are snapped up!