Rediscovering freedom is something we can all appreciate as we emerge, bleary eyed from the long NSW lockdown. David Kelly, Village manager at Blueheath, has noticed an increase in enquiries as people start looking to the future again. And while some retirees report that they’re making good on downsizing plans made pre-Covid, others are considering the idea of a retirement community for the first time, spurred by months of isolation from family and friends.
And there’s good news for retirees and downsizers – real estate agents and house market analysts report that there’s rarely been a better time to cash in your biggest asset. House prices have remained strong in regional areas with increases of 15% and more reported in Newcastle and Port Stephens. Meanwhile Government changes to downsizer superfund contributions continue which means greater tax-free contributions for those selling their primary home.
Good financial information is critical to making the most of your downsizing experience. Geoff Whiddon, principal of Dome Financial Group in Charlestown and a financial advisor with specialist retirement expertise comments, “Downsizing isn’t a financial decision, it’s a lifestyle choice, however there are ways to ensure it brings about the best financial outcome for your situation. It’s always worth checking the latest financial and legal information.”
Many downsizers simply don’t know where to start – the enormity of finding a new home or parting with the family home can be overwhelming. For those who do take the plunge however, the common regret is “I wish I’d done it sooner”. David agrees and adds that most residents find downsizing a liberating move – an opportunity to make new friends, travel or embrace new and old pastimes.