We have to contend with a lot as we age and approach midlife: changes to our bodies, the ebbs and flows of emotions and shifts in relationships, careers and lifestyles. The rhetoric around the inevitable – ageing – seems to be improving, however, there is still an uncomfortable association with it as we keep ticking over, lap after lap around the sun. Can you blame us?
It’s true: getting older is complex, bringing new challenges and vulnerabilities. However, the majority of what we’ve come to accept about the so-called midlife crisis – starting with the very characterisation of it as a crisis – is enmeshed in a web of outdated stereotypes and detrimental misconceptions. What awaits us in this phase is not just captivating but profoundly uplifting.
Take downsizing. Research by the Australian Housing Aspirations (AHA) shows that downsizing, or ‘rightsizing’ as it is often termed, is an integral part of the current and future housing preferences of older Australians. They surveyed over 2,400 older Australians (55+), jotting down the main reasons and motivations behind moving homes.
While downsizing may seem daunting at first glance, it brings with it a multitude of benefits that can redefine your perspective. Here are just a few ways in which moving can turn the page to a new and fulfilling chapter of life.
Embracing new lifestyle opportunities
Downsizing is an opportunity to reinvent your lifestyle. According to the survey by AHA, nearly 30 per cent of the older Australians who had downsized, did so to achieve a particular lifestyle, while 40 per cent of potential downsizers said they would be likely to move if there was suitable housing in their preferred locations. Whether you’re seeking a more vibrant urban setting, a peaceful beachside retreat, or a community with exciting retail and dining options, downsizing allows you to embrace new lifestyle opportunities and access desirable locations and experiences that align with your evolving preferences and passions.
Unlocking spontaneity and freedom
Furthermore, downsizing is a gateway to a more spontaneous and liberated life. If you’re living closer to bushland, retail therapy, and dining hotspots, you can embrace life’s unexpected moments without hesitation. It’s about saying yes to impromptu bush walks, last-minute dinners with friends and weekend getaways, offering the gift of spontaneity and freedom in the second chapter of your life.
The research paints a clear picture of another compelling motivation for downsizing, with nearly 30 per cent of respondents in the survey opting to make the move for financial reasons. Although downsizing may help you optimise your financial situation, for some yielding substantial benefits, it’s best to consult with an expert on other various financial factors to see what’s viable for your particular circumstances.
Reduced maintenance and environmental footprint
One of the often overlooked but incredibly valuable aspects of downsizing is the significant reduction in maintenance responsibilities that it brings. Almost 20 per cent of people in the AHA survey said they would downsize because their garden or property required too much maintenance. Additionally, a smaller living space often translates to a smaller carbon footprint, aligning with a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Fostering community and social connections
While downsizing often means moving to a smaller living space, it can lead to a significant expansion of your social horizons. Because architects and designers are increasingly attuned to the importance of crafting spaces that encourage meaningful interactions, many downsizers find themselves in communities of like-minded individuals who share similar interests and values. These thoughtfully designed environments offer opportunities for neighbours to become friends, for impromptu gatherings in common areas, and for shared experiences that bring people closer together, leading to lasting friendships and a sense of belonging that enhances mental well-being.
As we navigate the intricacies of aging and approaching midlife, the narrative surrounding this inevitable journey is slowly evolving. While there remains lingering discomfort, we must recognise that getting older is a multifaceted experience – and dispelling the outdated stereotypes is a crucial step forward.
Downsizing isn’t merely a change in living space; it’s an invitation to explore the myriad facets of life, embrace new opportunities, and foster connections that bring vibrancy and purpose to the second chapter of life’s journey. If this resonates with you, consider exploring West Village Karrinyup—an exquisite collection of spacious, luxury designer apartments situated adjacent to Perth’s premier lifestyle and entertainment hub. To learn more or secure your own slice of this inviting lifestyle, visit their website.