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Are you cleaning rooms that rarely get used now that the kids have flown the nest? Or perhaps finding the idea of a stroll and a coffee in the botanic gardens more attractive than the thought of spending Saturday mowing lawns and clipping hedges?
Along with some other Aussies aged fifty and sixty-something, you may be mulling the benefits of a smaller, lower maintenance pad which doesn’t take half the weekend to maintain and can be locked up and left when your next big holiday rolls around.
From 1 July 2018, if you are 65 years old or older and meet the eligibility requirements, you may be able to choose to make a downsizer contribution into your superannuation of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling your home. Here’s what you need to know.
Moving onto the other practical elements of downsizing, here are a few things to add to your to do list.
A smaller place can mean much less room for all the ‘stuff’ you have acquired over the decades, from scuba diving equipment that’s been mouldering in the garage since 2003 to the second fridge that’s only switched on at Christmas. A rigorous decluttering program may help you present your home for sale more attractively and result in fewer items to shift and store when moving day rolls around.
Furniture and bric-a-brac could be sold via Gumtree or garage sales, for example, or if you prefer to donate, Vinnies, Lifeline and other charities may be willing to collect large items in good condition which are suitable for resale. Giving yourself plenty of time to complete your clear-out, or undertaking it in stages, a room at a time, can make the process less arduous.
If you’re a pet owner who’s planning to swap the backyard for an inner-city courtyard or balcony, you may want to check that any prospective perch can accommodate your furry friends comfortably – and legally. It can be common for body corporates in apartment and townhouse complexes to prohibit dogs over a certain size, or to require residents to seek permission before bringing cats and dogs onto the premises. If re-homing your pets is not practical or too much of a wrench emotionally, it may make sense to postpone your move until after their natural passing.
Always been a two-car household? Moving to more compact quarters may be an opportune time to consider whether you could get by comfortably with just one set of wheels. If the new home is in a more central location where public transport options abound, this might be an easy way to cut outgoings without compromising on convenience or lifestyle.
People who have spent many years at the same address may have a battery of local service providers who enjoy their custom. Downsizing out of area can mean having to find a new butcher, baker and grocery store, potentially along with a replacement doctor, dentist and other healthcare professionals (depending on your moving distance).
While the postman calls less frequently for many of us in the digital era, it’s important to make sure regular correspondents and service providers know you’ve moved. Mail redirection by Australia Post can give you some breathing space to ensure you’ve provided your new contact details to everyone who needs them.
There are plenty of other things to consider of course – this is just a list to get you started.
As a QSuper member, you have access to financial advice from QInvest.1
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1 QInvest Limited (ABN 35 063 511 580 AFSL 238274) is ultimately owned by the QSuper Board (ABN 320 125 059 006) as trustee for the QSuper Fund (60 905 115 063), and is a separate legal entity responsible for the financial services it provides. Advice fees apply.
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