The following are a few words of warning as you go through the decisions and process of moving:
Think twice before investing money in a granny flat on someone else’s property, as you will have no legal claim if the property is sold and you could lose everything. Also, it is not always easy for three generations to live together. Loneliness can be a factor; the children are at school, the adults are working and you could find yourself alone from morning till night.
Don’t try to replace your home when looking for a retirement complex. Remember you are buying a way of life, not just bricks and cement. Downsize gracefully into an affordable village with a reasonable levy and a caring management. It won’t be easy, but you will have to be firm about disposing of any possessions that simply won’t fit into, or won’t go with, your new home. Have fun giving away unnecessary items to family, friends and charity, or send them to an auction house. The golden rule of down sizing is ‘cut the clutter’.
Don’t forget to include the cost of moving in your financial plan. This includes furniture removers, increased deposits on electricity and water accounts (if required), insurance for goods in transit, new curtains or alterations to old ones, buying remote control devices for the complex, and so on.
Don’t Leave It Too Late
You are now in your eighties, alone, frail and you’ve just had a bad fall. You no longer medically qualify for a retirement complex and you and your family wish you had made the move years ago! Someone now has the burden of having to find an old age home, not a retirement complex, that will admit you. Keep in mind that frail care beds are in short supply, and frail care beds in retirement villages go firstly to
the people who live in these communities. In other words, you may very well find yourself in a home that in all likelihood would not have been your first choice!
Selling your property privately without the services of an estate agent
may seem a good idea at first, especially when you think of the commission you will save! Remember though, without an agent vetting the buyer, you are inviting total strangers into your house and could be placing yourself at great risk. Never reveal to strangers that you live alone or make appointments for unknown people to view your property when you are alone: ask a relative or friendly neighbour to be present and don’t divulge any details about your security measures. In conclusion, remember that the younger you are when moving to a retirement complex, the easier it will be to settle down, make new friends and become part of a caring and supportive community. There may well come a time when you’ll be grateful for this help.