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Policy changes could benefit downsizers

By Louise Morrin

Giving people the support they need to move into smaller real estate in St George later in life is becoming increasingly important, argues the Property Council of Australia. The group responded to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which revealed many people have strong assets, but the same cannot be said for their day-to-day income.

"We need to put in place the right policies that help older Australians downsize," said Mary Wood, the Property Council's executive director of retirement.

"All too often, a pensioner considers downsizing only to reject it because it would mean a hit on their pension."

What the figures say

The ABS revealed that in 2013-14, there were significant variations in the liquid assets available among older generations. A third were found to have more than $50,000 of liquid assets, while a further third of those on low incomes had less than $5,000.

Nevertheless, 74 per cent of older people on low incomes owned their home outright, compared to just eight per cent who were renting.

Motivations for downsizing

The Property Council explained that there are not only financial benefits to moving into a smaller home. There are also advantages to people's health, especially if they relocate to properties that don't have steps or require high maintenance.

There's also the fact that larger properties are costlier to maintain, which can mean retirees' income takes a significant hit throughout the years. Everything from utilities bills to general upkeep can all start to add up over time.

Ray White Carlton is here to help you find a home that's suited to your needs and individual circumstances. Our experienced team of real estate agents in St George will be able to guide you through the process and take into account any criteria you might have.

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