Life stages and property, part 3: Your 60s and 70s

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In the final part of this series on life stages and property, we look at the financial questions concerning Australians of retirement age. At this point in your life, you’ve had to make a great deal of financial decisions. You’ve probably had big successes – as well as failures that you’ve learned from.

For this post, we examine what you are preoccupied with and the specific challenges people of your age are facing as you move out of the workforce and into retirement.

You want to enjoy your retirement, and being aware of the challenges you'll face will make it easier to do so.You want to enjoy your retirement, and being aware of the challenges you’ll face will make it easier to do so.

How are you thinking about home ownership?

In the later years of your life, your financial priorities will shift towards ensuring that you have a comfortable retirement. Whether this means taking out the age pension to support yourself, tapping into your super, or using your savings to embark on an epic adventure across the country in a caravan (homes come in all shapes and sizes!), you’ll be thinking about how to make the most out of the next decades of your life.

Retirement brings big changes to your lifestyle, and you’ll also need to think about what you’ll do with your assets – including your home. You may even reconsider where and how you live. You may make modifications to your home to make it more comfortable, downsize to a smaller home, or move to a location with a more laidback lifestyle.

What challenges are you facing?

One of the challenges you’ll face is what to do with your family home. If you are less mobile than you used to be, you might need to consider modifying your home so that it’s easier to move around in.

A challenge for many is the dilemma of whether to hold on to a home that houses so many fond family memories. If you and your partner are healthy enough to look after yourselves, you can choose to remain at home. After all, there is no reason to move if you like where you are right now! But if you’d like a bit more in your retirement fund, restructuring your home loan could be an option for you.

If your kids are all grown up with families of their own and you’re finding that your home is a bit too difficult to properly maintain, downsizing is something you’ll probably consider, and with this comes the challenge of selling your property and finding a new one.

Getting sick can mean you need to stop work, which can affect your mortgage repayments.Getting sick can mean you need to stop work, which can affect your mortgage repayments.

Illness is an issue that affects many older Australians. Unfortunately, as we grow older, the risk of sickness increases, and in some cases can cause us to take time off work, or stop work altogether. Meeting mortgage repayments on a single salary can be a massive financial strain, when medical bills are also factored into the equation.

Sadly, it’s also possible that at some stage your life partner may pass away. Not only is this an incredibly challenging time emotionally, but it affects your financial situation in a huge way. If you still have mortgage repayments to meet, losing your partner’s financial support might mean that you need to move sooner than anticipated.

How can a mortgage broker help you?

You have challenges ahead, but navigating these will be much smoother if you have support. Get your home finances in order and focus on enjoying your retirement, because you certainly deserve it.

You can contact a Smartline Mortgage Adviser on 13 14 97 for mortgage advice. Or complete our call request form and we’ll call you!

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