Author Topic: How does an ageing mother decide whether to sell up and move?  (Read 2426 times)

Girlwithaplan

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How does an ageing mother decide whether to sell up and move?
« on: August 04, 2016, 07:17:48 PM »
I'd really like some advice for my mum.

My Dad died nearly 10 years ago - he'd been the main earner and had worked hard all his life, but at a minimum wage job. He left mum with his retirement savings (maybe $100k) and a paid off house, but no life insurance.
Mum was the SAHM when we were young and has worked part-time hours (also minimum wage) for probably the last 20 years. So she has no debt, she's pretty frugal, she has a paid for home and some savings in the bank.

The situation is that mum is hitting retirement age. When she turns 65 she's entitled to government superannuation - which is a bit more than she currently earns each week (yay!). She lives 4-5 hours away from where all of her children live and we'd all really like her to move closer to us, particularly as she gets older. Unfortunately, there's a big difference between the value of houses where she lives and where we all live - and there's a boom happening where we live with high demand for houses and not many on the market. She can't really afford to spend much more on buying a house here, than she can get for selling her house there. None of us are in a position to really help her financially - we're all in our 30's working on paying off our own mortgages.

Part of me says "sell your house so you have cash in hand, move down here and stay with your children (there are four households of us) and wait for a property to come along". But she's really worried about selling, the market continuing to climb in value, and her not being able to afford to buy again (and there is actually a risk of that).

How would others work their way through this? Would appreciate your thoughts.

Snow White

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Re: How does an ageing mother decide whether to sell up and move?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2016, 08:27:26 PM »
Can she afford to sell her house, downsize her stuff and rent for awhile closer to you? It might give her a chance to look for an affordable place without the pressure of doing it quickly.  One worry I'd have though if she would be moving away from her friends.  Does she even want to move?

pbkmaine

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Re: How does an ageing mother decide whether to sell up and move?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2016, 08:32:35 PM »
Since she is in a LCOL area, do any of you want to move there when you retire?

Choices

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Re: How does an ageing mother decide whether to sell up and move?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2016, 09:38:06 PM »
If she's excited about moving closer to you kids, she might enjoy renting a smaller place. She wouldn't be responsible for maintenance and lawn care, and there would be less space to clean too.

Does she know anyone besides you and your siblings in the new city? Do you have a good senior center? What about transportation? Is it more difficult to drive there? Is the weather the same? Does she have hobbies that she can practice anywhere, or are some particular to her current location?

Girlwithaplan

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Re: How does an ageing mother decide whether to sell up and move?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2016, 10:18:11 PM »
Thanks for your replies! She very much wants to move to be near us - and would love to do it as soon as possible. It's just a case of finding a way to do it. The place we live will be sooo much better for her - really great public transport, lots going on, and she has interests/hobbies with very active groups down here that she could slot right into. The place she lives now is more rural, lacking in public transport and would be very easy for her to get isolated as she ages. (None of us want to move there!)

She is already downsized where she is...so buying a similar downsized place here is just that much more expensive. It's just a gnarly problem! The whole thing just makes me want to save that much harder so I don't get stuck in a similar situation when I'm older....

deborah

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Re: How does an ageing mother decide whether to sell up and move?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 11:47:27 PM »
As you're in NZ rather than Australia, I can't make any of the suggestions I was going to. But look into what initiatives there are for the aging. In Australia, people can build granny flats on their property if it is over a certain size. For a long time these had to be for an aging relative or similar, and the block had to be over a certain size. There is also a granny flat provision, so that if you guarantee a home, the tax on gifts disappears, and the elderly are more likely to be able to retain their social security benefits if they gift money for the building of a granny flat or similar. There may be similar initiatives that you or your siblings can take advantage of so your mother can move to your big city.