To move, or not to move?

It's a big question many face as they get older. The topic usually arises due to a change in lifestyle such as retirement, separation or bereavement, or just a need to cut back on daily expenditure.

The prospect of growing older and with restricted mobility is also a factor and our health must always be taken into account when considering our future living requirements. There are few who have the luxury of not having to even consider moving house for whatever reason, but it is such an important issue that it must be looked at practically and not too emotionally – although it will be a big upheaval from what may be the family home. 

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, happy, sad, good and bad.

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, happy, sad, 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 as so many of us have to downsize due to the expense of keeping on a large family house with high rates, heating bills and maintenance to pay for when the amount of rooms are no longer needed.

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. When moving into a new area it may be more difficult to build up a social life and become involved in a new community. Although if you are thinking about living in a retirement community it should be easier to establish new contacts as you will be living among others of a similar age and interests.

Closer to family

Some people move house to be nearer their families which avoids the problem of loneliness, 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 find a new group of fellow hobbyists or church members. This can be exciting, but be aware that this will take a real effort on your part.

You may 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 don’t rush into anything on impulse, especially if you are moving due to bereavement or separation.

Pros vs cons

A good way to martial your thoughts is to draw up a list of pros and cons. These 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.

Use your contacts and friends to explore all avenues and discuss your future plans in case you may need to make a decision if your circumstances change.