Amanda Graham, the Co-founder and CEO of Downsizing.com.au joins us in this episode of the Downsizing Show along with mainstay Greg Oddy, to give people who want to downsize valuable advice, and the mindset of the baby boomer when looking to downsize.
Here are the highlights of the discussion:
If you can’t find it, create it
Amanda Graham spent years looking for a retirement village for her father and was frustrated with the lack of support and information there was available regarding homes for seniors and retirees. She was a busy professional with kids and the real estate websites just didn't include the type of housing she was searching for.
So, she asked, “How hard is it to create a website?”
Well, it turns out that creating a website wasn’t easy, but it certainly paid off for Amanda and her family. Now, Downsizing.com.au is scaling with sales and getting thousands of listings and views online.
Finding a new place to stay at the retirement stage is difficult for the senior’s family, but it’s even more worrying for the retiree. There’s a lot of uncertainty. When you’re young, you can buy a house, live in it for years or decades, and just sell it again—more often than not, to your now grown-up children.
The case isn’t the same for retirement houses. Seniors have to think about what happens down the road; “What if I get sick, what if my partner gets sick, what if my partner passes away...” and so on. Financial and legal advice have to be taken in consideration as well, with some options having a more complicated form of legal title.
Part of the rise in retirement home options can be related to the baby boomer mindset.
Most baby boomers ask their children not to put them in homes for the aged homes. Unlike their parents’ generation who were very modest and didn’t want to spend money on themselves, most baby boomers want all the luxury finishes, the lock-up-and-leaves in case they want to travel, etc. Their lifestyle expectations are very different.
To meet that demand, there are a lot of housing styles and communities that are being developed. The planning is discreet for those future stages, meaning that, you may move into something that looks like a golf resort at this point in time, but down the road, you still know that your house or apartment has wider doorways, no difficult stairs, easy-to-access showers, and lower power sockets.
Plus, these communities are made so seniors can maintain social contact with others, making for a more fulfilling life and brighter dispositions.
The international downsizer
We now talk to Greg Oddy in New York to talk about downsizing trends in other countries. The American market is quite similar to the Australian market, the UK hadn’t been until recently—they have been building luxurious retirement villages for seniors for the last 6 to 7 years, the Chinese are now seeing it as a prestige when parents stay in retirement villages.
The downsizer is usually someone who’s cashed up and ready to buy. So it’s an interesting market to target versus first-time buyers or investors who may prefer to hold on to their money.
Still, that said, we must be careful we don’t misread an entire generation. Stay tuned for future updates and insights regarding downsizing at PropertyTV and the Downsizing Show.
Retiree doesn’t mean over 60
The concept of retiring is changing as more older people stay in the workforce for longer, whether by choice or financial necessity. There are now more than one million workers over 60, which is 300,000 more than there were 6 years ago. This is creating a huge challenge for carers, developers, and businesses that specialize in aged care.
Public transportation is becoming an increasing concern for seniors as they age, as there may come a time when they can no longer drive and they wonder if they have to move to another residence when that happens.
Another consideration is their employment chances as they get closer and closer to 60. They may face discrimination regarding “redundancy” and their knowledge of technology. So they still need to be active and earn a living because it is likely that they’re still paying for a mortgage.
> Episode 4: Deconstructing Downsizing