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Noel Whittaker on Downsizing: It’s Your Solution to a Dwindling Retirement Income

The great Australian dream of keeping the family home well into retirement may be under threat with Australian Bureau of Statistics stats showing that nearly 50% of seniors are expected to run out of money during their life span.

Between 2014 and 2015, the ABS said only 27% of people reported they were planning on relying on government pension allowance as their source of primary income at retirement.

But, in the latest data nearly 50% of Australian retirees said that they had relied on these avenues to keep them afloat, indicating that seniors do not have enough in the bank to fund their retirement.

Finance expert and international bestselling author Noel Whittaker said the biggest challenge facing seniors today is many people are outliving their money.

“The simple fact is most people don’t have enough money to retire on, especially when a lot of that money is tied up in a house,” Mr Whittaker said.

“The trouble is you can’t sell the back steps of your home.

“For many seniors, downsizing is an effective way of unlocking the large amounts of capital trapped in the family home – a crucial step to retaining financial independence and enjoying a comfortable lifestyle.”

Mr Whittaker said one of the major impediments that tend to make people reluctant to downsize their home is stamp duty.

“There is an innovative and sensible housing model seniors need to consider – land lease lifestyle-oriented communities let you upgrade to a brand new home and lease the land, putting more money in your pocket,” he said.

With no stamp duty or no exit fees like traditional retirement models, land lease communities are helping Australians release the equity in their old home, improve their lifestyle and keep their hard earned money when they leave. 

“The great thing about a land lease community is transparency and flexibility, there is no stamp duty, no hidden exit fees, you get to keep all of the capital gains and you get a great social network, that’s why people are choosing it.

“Ingenia Lifestyle’s unique housing model offers downsizers a great lifestyle as well as the flexibility and affordability; which for most people is what retirement is all about,” he said.

Land lease communities are becoming an increasingly popular choice for downsizers as an alternative accommodation solution, satisfying lifestyle changes and financial security.