The psychological attachment to land here in Ireland in well documented, which seems to translate into an attachment to the place where we grew up or raised our families.

Nevertheless, I am seeing many more people downsize for a whole variety of reasons, and to get to that point involves many considerations.

In my experience, people are downsizing to either free up cash that they never thought they would need, or for more practical reasons – smaller houses are easier to heat, maintain and so forth.

Downsizing because of financial necessity

“We didn’t really want to go, but it was the most practical thing to do.”

That’s what the parents of a friend of mine recently told me – a couple in their early 70s.

They had found to their distress that the husband’s good company pension had been decimated by the crash.

His wife had never worked outside the home.

Both are in good health, they expect to live for a while yet, but the money wasn’t necessarily going to last.

They certainly were not going to be able to enjoy the carefree retirement they had hoped for, conscious as they were that they may need more money as they get older and their health fails.

Having discussed it with their children there was really no decision to be made.

Their children (my friends) felt no entitlement to the family home, nor to the proceeds of its sale.

They were relieved that their parents had this under-occupied asset that could be sold to make them more comfortable.

Emotional Impact

Would you feel the same way? How do you think your own children would feel if you decided to downsize at some point in the future?

Now think about why you might find yourself in that situation, seriously considering selling your family home because frankly you needed the money to eke out a reasonable standard of living for the remainder of your life.

What I’m really asking is this: what do you need to do now that will ensure that you will never have to sell your family home out of financial necessity.

You know the answer: plan.

Luckily, it’s never too late.

Start now.