With the volatility of today’s housing market in Canada’s most in-demand cities, the idea of selling your home and finding another may seem overwhelming. However, there are plenty of benefits, especially if you are a savvy baby boomer planning your retirement. Both the real estate market and your personal circumstances will come into play when deciding whether to downsize now or wait until later. By considering your personal needs in addition to the real estate forecast, you have the best chance at making the right move at the right time.

Downsizing Early in Your 40’s and 50’s

Are you taking an early retirement because you are selling your business or are being offered a generous benefits package at your current job? Going ahead with a downsizing move at this point can make it a little easier to cope with, especially if it coincides with your children leaving home.

Making the transition earlier in life is also a smart move if you are concerned about future illness. Early onset Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are often detected in homeowners in these age groups, and your parents’ aging experiences can give you a clearer idea of what you can expect in your 60’s and 70’s. The challenges of moving while still in good health will reduce the stress of doing it while dealing with chronic health problems.

Meeting Age Requirements

You may decide to wait until you are at least 55 or 60 if you are looking at moving into an adult lifestyle condominium. Some townhouses and condos offer age restrictions which provide seniors with well-equipped housing near amenities like shopping centres and hospitals. It is likely worth staying in your current home until you have reached the required ages, unless you want to take advantage of the high resale prices caused by the recent surge of demand for residential space in places like Toronto and Vancouver.

Putting Off the Move

Finally, you might find it best to wait until you are well into your 60’s to finally downsize. This gives you several more years to deal with estate planning changes, tax issues, and the necessary property repairs necessary to achieve the best return when you do decide to sell. Aim to accomplish the process by earlier than later. Even if you live well into your 70’s and 80’s, you will not want to deal with the late nights and physical challenges of packing and unpacking. Although there are services to help seniors move, not everyone can afford to use them. Another perk is that settling into a new home while still in your 60’s also gives you the opportunity to become an active member of the neighbourhood. Of course, it is never too late to make a move, no matter your current age. Downsizing can be just as liberating to a family still in their 20’s as it is for seniors and baby boomers.