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Downsizing to move overseas

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Always consider the implications of moving overseas for retirement and downsizing

Are you downsizing to move overseas? There are things to consider before you make any moves. Are you planning to move permanently or are you off on your travels with the intention of returning home? Whichever camp you fall in, you will need to decide what you are leaving behind and what you will be taking.

So, you’re downsizing to move overseas – will you keep your home or sell it? On the one hand, keeping your home means you can rent it out and keep most of your things. On the other hand, it’s a burden that you will be thinking about when you should be enjoying yourself.

Then there’s your stuff. Do you ship it all? Well, no. The point of downsizing is to purge your life of unnecessary items that are weighing you down. It’s much easier to move anywhere when you have fewer possessions, particularly when you’re heading abroad.

Buyer or Renter?

Whether you sell your home or not, do you plan to purchase a home overseas or are you going to rent? You will need to look into the fees and requirements of purchasing abroad. This is something that you can speak to a lawyer about as they guide you through the visa process.

Of course, if you plan to buy overseas, it might be easier for you to do so after selling your existing home in Australia.

Initially, you may find holding onto your home and renting overseas is the perfect balance to strike to ensure that you like your destination. It means you can easily take it all back and go home if it’s not a fit. If it is a fit, you can take steps to sell off your home in Australia.

Shedding Material Items

When you’re heading overseas there are more advantages than not when it comes to downsizing. Do not underestimate just how draining clutter can be, your head will appreciate the extra space. Think of your move as though you are going to be in a tiny house.

Go through your home, room by room, and create a pile of things to keep and a pile of what is getting left behind. If there are special mementoes and keepsakes, you can give these to family members. You can put the cars in your children’s names or sell them on. Consider placing the remainder online for sale or you can hold a yard sale. There’s also charity donation. It’s also a good idea to rent a skip so that you can easily dump your junk.

When downsizing to move overseas, you should keep a notebook to inventory all of the items you plan to sell. You know how many items you have been holding onto without needing them.

There’s something about humans that just forces us to keep things we don’t really want. We think about how we felt when we bought them, the fun they brought, and how much they cost. You have to forget all of that. This is probably the most difficult part of downsizing.

Get Tax Advice

Never forget that the jurisdiction that you are moving overseas may have specific tax regulations for people moving. Always consult your accountant for advice on implications for tax and pensions before you head off overseas. The ATO has some great advice here

Medical needs

Your future and medical needs are something that you must consider before downsizing overseas. Consider the healthcare options in the country that you’re moving to.

Don’t forget your family and friends

Leaving all of your friends and family behind to go overseas is an important emotional decision and it shouldn’t be considered lightly. It’s just the price you have to pay for chasing your dreams.

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