Tips to help you decide when it’s time
Most of us will reach a point in our life where we just “know” it’s time to downsize, move out of the family home, and start enjoying our retirement while we’re still active.
For many people, it can be a positive time of letting go, making a fresh start, meeting new friends and contributing to a new community. Yet of course, you might also feel some stress as you think about moving on from decades of memories, neighbours you love, and a home and garden you’ve cared for and nurtured.
The challenge lies in finding the right balance between keeping those memories alive whilst beginning an exciting new phase of your life and creating a new place to call home.
In this news post, the Renaissance team shares a few little pointers that may help ease a little of the stress and bring some more pleasure into this stage of your life journey.
Are you truly ready to move into retirement living?
How do you know if you’re ready to make the move? Well, you’ll find clues everywhere – and you might just pick them up in your own conversations.
Do you hear yourself thinking or saying things like:
- Our home is getting too big to manage on our own
- The children are busy and don’t visit us as much
- We’d just like to relax a little
- We can’t keep on top of the weeds!
- If we’re going to move, it’s better that we move together
- The spare room is just full of clutter
- I’m feeling lonely and isolated
- I want to make the decision myself while I’m able
- The grandchildren don’t come for sleepovers anymore
- I’ve had a couple of falls, so I want to know that help is close by
- We don’t want to be left alone if one of us goes
- The stairs seem to be getting steeper!
- I just can’t keep on top of things
- We want a more simple life
If you’re nodding right now, then chances are you’ve probably recognised that the time has come... or at least it’s time to start putting some plans into place.
How to ease some common concerns about moving
Moving into retirement living can be a lot less stressful if you prepare yourself for what’s ahead. Here’s how to ease a few common concerns you might have about making the move from the family home to a new retirement home.
1) Downsizing – the enormous task of letting go
It’s taken you years to fill your house with furniture, treasures and all your valued ‘stuff.’ It would be too much to expect you to pack it all up in a couple of days.
That’s why you should enlist the help of your friends and family. Give yourself the time to enjoy the process, but stay focused – the goal is to downsize.
You may decide to have a garage sale and turn some of your treasures into cash. If you have large items to donate, many charities will come and collect them from you. You could find it easier to make a list of all the items you must keep; or use the “four way” method: marking boxes ‘to keep’, ‘to donate’, ‘to give away’, and ‘to toss’.
Make this huge task much more manageable by starting with just one cupboard in one room. This method can also give you a great sense of achievement as you complete each room.
2) Will I be able to lock in the retirement living I’ve chosen?
It’s never too soon to start visiting retirement villages and communities and looking through their homes and villas.
The only problem is though, that you might fall in love with a particular home (such as one of our beautiful Renaissance villas) and then have to wait until your family home is sold before you can apply for it.
That’s why we encourage you to have your home either sold or on the market before you apply for a retirement villa.
3) What if my house sells early? Where do I live?
Selling your home should be a good problem to have. But what if it leaves you with a gap between when you have to move out and when you can move into your new retirement villa? There is always the stay-with-family-and-friends option while your possessions are loaded into storage.
You might also be able to access an even better solution. In the event that your property sells before your villa is finished, Renaissance may be able to arrange and assist with the financial costs of alternative accommodation, storage and removal.
8 tips for an easier transition to retirement living
So once you’ve decided that it’s time to start a fresh new life, how can you make the transition as easy and as pleasant as possible? Here are a final few tips that will make things run more smoothly for you.
1) Make a plan. Have a checklist of all the things you need to get done. It may look enormous at first, but you’ll feel in control – and it’s great to be able to tick things off as you do them.
2) Ask for help! When you’ve led an independent life, asking for help can sometimes feel like the hardest thing you can do. Yet it’s important to give people the opportunity to be a part of your next life stage. And remember when people offer their help, there is only one answer: “Yes please!”
3) Delegate. Along with asking for help comes delegating. There are people who have more time, skills or energy than you – which means they can more easily get things done. Put on your manager hat and allow people to jump in and take on specific tasks.
4) Communicate. Keep in regular contact with everyone involved in the process so you know where things are at. Retirement village managers, real estate agents and family and friends who are involved.
5) Take care. Remember to look after yourself. You may feel like you’re still in your 30’s sometime, but leave the heavy lifting to the young ‘uns.
6) Take photos. It’s ok to take a few last photos of your family home. Take photos of some of the things you’re letting go of. Take photos of the people helping you and get them to take photos of you. These are new memories. It may seem like a major upheaval, but you’ll look back and remember the good times.
7) Take time for you. This is an important event in your life. Don’t let anyone rush you. Unless you’re really procrastinating! Take time to honour the life you have had in your family home – the memories, the happy times, the struggles. They have all made you who you are. You can take them with you (and leave the struggles behind) as you move forward.
8) Celebrate! Once you’ve settled, you might throw a ‘welcome home’ party for your family, old friends and new friends to gather and celebrate with you.
Finally, take a deep breath. You have earned this new life. You deserve to live more simply, to make new friends, go on new adventures, clear the clutter, and be free and happy.
Visiting Renaissance can help you decide whether you're ready
As we’ve seen, knowing when it’s time to move into retirement living is so important. So to help you decide, we invite you to visit Renaissance yourself.
Our Information Days are a wonderful introduction to the Renaissance lifestyle, in just the sort of relaxed and welcoming environment you’ll experience when you choose to move in.
We’ll help you find the information you need to make the right decision for your needs.
Call Renaissance today on (07) 3820 7700 or fill out the form here to find out more about the lifestyle you’ll enjoy at our outstanding Victoria Point retirement living.