One of the big questions that we face as we get older is whether or not to move house. This topic usually arises due to a change in lifestyle such as retirement, separation or bereavement, or just a need to cut back on expenditure. The prospect of growing older and with restricted mobility is also a factor and our health must always be a consideration. There are few who have the luxury of not having to consider moving house for whatever reason, but it is such an important issue that it must be looked at with logic and not just emotion.
Our home is not just bricks and mortar it is probably the single most valuable asset we own as well as being the repository for memories, good and bad. You are lucky if you can stay happily where you are without having to make moves as you get older.
The question of finance is important so many of us have to downsize due to the expense of keeping on a large family house with rates, heating bills and maintenance to pay for when you do not need the rooms. Many older parents want to sell the house to be able to help out their children with accommodation for their growing families. It is so difficult in the current economic climate for younger people to raise the deposit and get a foot on the housing ladder.
If you have lived in your house for a number of years you may also have connections with the neighbourhood and have to contemplate moving away from friends and local contacts. If you are moving into a new area it may be more difficult to build up a social life and become involved in a new community. If of course, you are thinking about living in a retirement community it should be easy to establish new contacts as you will be living among others of a similar age and interests.
Some people move house to be nearer their families which avoids the loneliness problems, but you still need to be aware that such a big upheaval will have other consequences. You will most likely have to register with a new doctor and dentist and get to know another council’s way of re-cycling and a new group of fellow hobbyists or church members. This can be exciting but be aware that this will take effort on your part.
You may even be selling your house to move abroad, perhaps for a sunny clime, in which case very careful planning must take place. Do not just think about what you will gain; remember what you will be giving up. Talk to others who have made a similar move and do not rush into anything on impulse, especially if you are moving due to bereavement or separation.
A good way to martial your thoughts is to draw up a list of pros and cons as given in our example attached.
The points may not all be relevant but it is vital to analyse your reasons for moving. It may be that your existing home can be adapted or that the idea of living in a community of older people is not for you. This is a good time to discuss your future plans in case you may need to make a decision if your circumstances change. Use all your contacts and friends to explore all avenues.