How will I manage running costs?
Your income will likely decrease in retirement, so regular bills will consume a larger portion of your monthly income. If your basic living expenses aren't leaving you with enough leftover to enjoy your retirement, downsizing to a cheaper house could be the answer.
Our running costs tools can be really useful here. They can be found on every sale listing and provide an estimate of household bills, including council tax, utilities, and even assistance with mortgage calculations.
Do I really need and value all this space?
Some people have hobbies or families which require a larger home. But if you have rooms you only ever enter to clean, then it's a good sign you're ready to downsize.
Is the layout right for me?
Bedrooms are typically the most crucial factor in a family home. But with potentially fewer people, and stairs posing more of a challenge, you need to think about whether ground floor living might be a better option.
Although this might seem distant now, it's important to look as far ahead as possible. We can assist you in finding the right property for your needs with Advanced Search, where you can use the keyword option to specifically hunt for ‘bungalows’, for example.
Is the area still suitable for me?
As you get older, you might prefer a flat or smaller property just a few minutes from shops, friends, or family.
If you're unfamiliar with the area you're searching in, try our travel time tool. It helps find properties for sale within a certain journey time from any given location, depending on whether you are travelling by car, bike, public transport, or on foot.
Am I keeping on top of the house?
For gardeners and DIY enthusiasts, a retirement filled with pruning, planting, painting, and tinkering could be exactly what they want. But while there are plenty of people who can be found up a ladder in their 80s, some just don't want the extra hassle.
A new-build or retirement home could be an easier and more affordable place to look after. Again, you can use our Advanced Search to refine your hunt for specialist retirement homes or new builds.
Would I rather spend the money on something else?
It doesn't have to be a significant struggle for downsizing to make sense. Your priorities might have changed. You might want to help your children out, or even give your grandchildren a boost towards owning their own home.
Some gifts can be given free from UK tax, and others might be subject to inheritance tax (IHT). Find out more about gifting to loved ones, and children.
Whatever your motive, downsizing can be a perfect way to free up some cash so you can spend more on the people or things you care about and enjoy throughout your retirement.
Will I be up to it in a few years' time?
If you're just putting it off, try not to leave it too late. Moving requires a lot of effort, not least settling into a new home and getting to know the local area.
Successful downsizing needs to be done at a time when you have all the energy and family to support you with the change.
If you're still uncertain whether downsizing is right for you, there's no harm in regularly reviewing your situation to see if it changes. Retirement is personal, so there's no right or wrong answer.
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