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Downsizing for Retirement? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Heading into retirement? There are many reasons why you might decide to downsize! For instance, you might want to move closer to your family and friends; your children are now independent adults, and you no longer need a place big enough to accommodate them; you like the idea of having a smaller home to take care of, or you want to live somewhere more convenient that will benefit your health and well-being.

Whatever the reason, downsizing is a significant life event that requires a lot of planning, budgeting, and physical and mental stress. Thankfully, with the right preparation in place, it can be a productive and life-changing adventure that we, as self-storage experts, are proud to be a part of. So here, we’re looking into some of the considerations you’ll need to factor in when you begin thinking about downsizing your home.

Decide Where to Move

There’s a lot to think about when picking an area to move to. You might be very ambitious and want to move abroad to a warmer, faraway country, or you might only want to move down the road from your current address. It’ll depend on a lot of factors, such as:

  • Your financial situation.
  • Your state of health.
  • Your attachment to your community.
  • Your desire to be close to your children or grandchildren.
  • Your need to be close to shops and amenities.
  • Public transport links.
  • And many, many more!

Before you start deciding where to move to, you should think about what your goals are for downsizing. Are you trying to release equity to help your children buy their own homes? Do you want to travel in your retirement? Do you want to be closer to your children because there’s the potential of grandchildren on the horizon? Or do you just want to relax and spend your time indulging yourself in leisure activities?

Once you’ve established your retirement goals, you’ll have a better idea of where to move. Moving somewhere new, even somewhere not very far from where you currently live, can drastically change your daily routine and current way of living. So, make a note of everything you like and dislike about your current living situation, and think about what’s most important to you to help guide your downsizing move.

elderly couple and dog smiling outside of their home

What Kind of Home?

As the name suggests, downsizing means to move into a smaller home. As well as smaller homes, here are some of the many options you have, and often the most popular for those heading into their golden years:

  • Bungalows
  • Flats
  • Houseboats
  • Caravans
  • Retirement communities

Accessibility could be a significant factor in the decision; you may need to start considering your health and how physically strenuous certain living situations may be. You may also want to consider how you can live independently for as long as possible, or you may prefer the benefits associated with living in a community with other retired residents. While one option may be favourable now, it’s important to consider the future, too.

Consider the Costs

When you think of downsizing, you could be forgiven for automatically assuming you stand to save lots of money, but this may not necessarily be the case. Like moving to any new home, there are some hefty upfront costs.

The housing market has changed drastically over the last few years, and house prices have generally risen quite a bit. While this means that the value of your home has likely increased to similar levels, don’t assume that you’ll necessarily be able to sell at a high price. Get some reasonable estimates from a solicitor or estate agent and take a look at house prices in the area you intend to move to.

Don’t forget all the other costs that come with moving, such as tidying up your current home so it’s sale-ready, as well as buying boxes and suitcases, hiring movers, and paying all those admin fees and taxes.

Explore Your Options

Downsizing is a big undertaking, so maybe you would be better off with an alternative. You could consider renting rather than buying; it can be a cheaper option, and you will have a more significant cash flow from the sale of your house to spend during your retirement years.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to move but your current home is too big to manage, consider renovations or alterations that could make it more manageable. If you or your partner are struggling to use the stairs, could you have a stairlift installed or some railings? Or, could you convert a downstairs room into a bedroom, so you don’t need to go upstairs as often?

If you want to make some extra cash, you could even consider renting out a bedroom to a tenant to bring in some additional income! There are many things to think about before deciding on the best plan of action for your retirement, so make sure you’ve considered all your options and how you can benefit from each.

inside a self-storage unit

Downsize Your Belongings with Kangaroo Self Storage

Moving homes to a smaller location will inevitably mean you have less space for your belongings. Before you start packing up for your big move, you should start deciding what belongings you want to keep, what you want to donate or get rid of, and what you want to put into household storage.

Getting rid of sentimental items can be difficult, so if you have nowhere to put them in your new home, you can keep them safe and sound in one of our secure self-storage units! Whatever you want to keep, with self-storage from Kangaroo, you can store as much or as little as you like in our clean, secure units. We have a wide range of unit sizes for you to choose from, so whether you need us to keep a few boxes safe or the contents of your entire home while you jet or cruise around the globe, we have the solution for you.

Packing for Self-Storage

When it’s time to start packing up your items for self-storage, there are certain tips, tricks, dos and dont’s. As moving, packing, and storing experts, here are our recommendations:

  • Keep an ongoing inventory of the items you have in storage. This will help you remember what you have in your unit. In line with this, make sure to label all your boxes.
  • Pack items you’ll need quick access to at the front of your unit or in an easy-to-get-to place. Similarly, items you know you won’t need often, such as Christmas decorations, can be stored at the back.
  • Make the most of our Box Shop for easily stackable boxes, protective items such as bubble wrap, and that all-important padlock you’ll need for your storage unit.
  • Take advantage of our partnership with Enterprise Car Club on your moving day! This will help you get your belongings into your unit at a fraction of the cost of a ‘man and van’ service.
  • Speak to our team about adding racks or lighting to your unit; we’re more than happy to do this if you think it would make your self-storage journey simpler.
elderly couple unpacking their home

Accessible and Secure Storage Units for Your Convenience

Our self-storage units are conveniently located across Scotland and North West England, with many of them close to motorways, making travelling to and from your unit simple. And, with our drive-up storage units and helpful staff onsite during office hours, you can rest assured that getting your belongings into your unit will be simple and stress-free.

We also know that our storers trust us with valuable contents, both in monetary and sentimental value. Because of this, we invest in the best security, including 24/7 CCTV, perimeter fencing, and padlocks that only you, as the unit owner, have access to.

So, if you’re hoping to downsize in the future, Kangaroo Self Storage can help you keep your belongings safe! Whether it’s storing your things during your move or keeping those special items safe for later use by family members, Kangaroo has an affordable storage solution for you. Contact us today or hop over to your nearest Kangaroo below:

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