For some, moving into a more manageable home may be the best option for the future. Many older people downsize or move closer to support and social interests. Moving at any age can be stressful, and there are often health needs and varying abilities that need to be considered when moving in later life. Some things that you should consider before moving include:
The location: If you are moving into a new area, you should visit the area and make sure that it suits your needs. Make sure that local amenities are nearby and accessible for your future mobility needs or if you have to stop driving in the future.
The house: When choosing a new home, make sure that it can cater to your changing health and mobility needs. This may mean ensuring there is an accessible entrance, that there are amenities that can be accessed on the ground floor, and that you can easily navigate the house. You should also plan how the house and garden will be maintained as your health needs change. You can read more about universal design in housing here. You can find more information about accommodation on our Accommodation page.
Support: It is important to plan for your future needs, including what support will be available in your area and in your new home. You should consider what level of support you will receive from family and carers in your new house, and also find out what services will be available in your area. For information on local services, you can contact your local Age Concern.
Financial capability: If you are moving, it is important to consider your financial situation to ensure that you stay financially capable during and after your move. It is important to consider future or unexpected health needs and to reserve savings for this. You can find information about planning for a financially capable retirement on our Planning Retirement page.
Stress: Moving can be stressful for anyone, but in older age it is important to recognise your physical and emotional wellbeing during a move. You may need to plan extra time for the move to suit your personal abilities, or you may consider hiring a company that can take care of the entire move for you. It is important to take care of your emotional wellbeing if you are moving because of changes in health, financial circumstance, or after the death of a partner.
Moving in with family
You may consider moving in with family members who can provide extra support and companionship. This could include moving into their current house, finding a new house together, or building an extension or flat on their land. Moving in with children and grandchildren can offer you more time with your family as well as peace of mind for everyone. However, it is important to make formal arrangements in any moving situation to avoid family dissent. You can get independent legal and financial advice about moving in with family to best protect everyone involved.
Moving to a new house is a good opportunity to consider downsizing to something more manageable. It is important to consider how much space you need and can manage, including for storage and accommodating visitors or family. You may choose to downsize for many reasons, including to make living more affordable, to lessen maintenance needs, or to find a warmer and healthier home. You can find more information about downsizing and finding a good fit at Good Homes. Some moving companies can also help you downsize and declutter your possessions to fit into a smaller home. You can read our pamphlet on decluttering on our resources page.
Senior Move Managers (SMM) is a company that helps older New Zealanders when moving homes. They can plan the move, help you declutter, prepare your home for sale, pack and unpack your belongings, professionally clean your home before sale, and remove rubbish. You can find more information about their services on their website.
You can also contact your local Age Concern for information on moving companies and help with relocating in your area.
Websites of interest
- For information on keeping up with repairs and maintenance on your home, click here
- If you are considering moving into a retirement village, read our Retirement Villages page