Once your children have left home, priorities change and many couples face challenging lifestyle and financial decisions. Living in a large family home might not make sense anymore, and, now that the realities of retirement are starting to become clearer, you might want to restructure your property portfolio to provide more stability and freedom in the next few decades of your life.

If the last property you bought was your current family home and the baby you raised in that house has finally moved out, chances are you feel a little out of the loop where property investment is concerned. There’s really no need for concern however as not only is property investment one of the most secure forms of wealth creation, there are also plenty of great support people and tools available to help you navigate your way through purchasing and managing an investment property.

Saying goodbye to the family home is never easy. The place where so many of your most precious memories were made will always hold an important place in your heart. However, necessity can be the mother of REinvention and as you rake the leaves for the 45th autumn, clean a pool that no longer gets used for the dozenth time and forget which of the many empty rooms in your house you left your cup of tea in, slowly practicalities will outweigh nostalgia and you can start to consider other options.

The Nostalgia Package

You can, of course, stay in your family home but maybeyou should think about the pros and cons of staying to be sure your reasons are the right ones. What are the long term financial benefits, if any, if you stay? Are you unnecessarily sitting on capital, that could secure yours and potentially your children’s futures, for the sake of nostalgia? How often do the kids and grandkids really come to visit? It’s hardly worth maintaining a big empty house all year round for the sake of everyone being able to come home for Christmas.

Try to put aside the emotional components and think over these questions. Be clear on what your long-term investment goals are and then decide if staying in the family home helps you to realise them. The realities of the situation from a practical and financial perspective may point you in an entirely different direction than your heart.

The Transitional Bundle

If you can see change is needed and you recognise the financial possibilities, but selling the family home seems like an impossible choice, then there is a soft option. Depending on your circumstances, it might make sense to rent out the family home and take your first step towards downsizing by buying something smaller, with lifestyle as the priority. This will at least get you back into the investment space, but with the default of keeping the family home ‘in the family’ as it were.

This is a relatively low risk option, assuming you can secure the capital to purchase the new property. Also, putting the family home under management with a local real estate agency that you know and trust will mean you can finally spend your time doing the things you want to do, rather than the things you have to do.

The Baby Boomer Special

If you are looking to be a little more adventurous in your retirement, then this is a great way to get things moving – sell the family home, buy a funky new pad to live in and an investment property to rent out and leap into enjoying the best years of your life.

Many empty nesters rejoice when the last kid has flown the coop and can’t get their big old rambling house on the market fast enough. If this is you – great! This solution may be perfect. However, proceed with caution – price variations can be a shock once you move out of the suburbs and whatever you buy next needs to provide lifestyle and security, and add to your future rather than eat away at your nest egg.

So, as you can see, there are few paths you can take that will offer you the lifestyle you want while helping you to gradually build a portfolio of properties. Property investment will offer you financial benefits such as good capital growth, tax reductions and long term investment stability, and if you choose the right agency to manage your properties and advise you on your investment choices, you will also benefit by actually being able to live your life with more freedom and enjoyment.

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