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It takes time to prepare to downsize, particularly if you have lived in your marital/family home for many years

It is vital to get into the right mindset for change and give yourself from six months to a year develop a positive mental attitude and approach.

Many of us start out feeling fearful and nervous not to mention overwhelmed at the prospect of moving.

But it is important to recognise the positives that come with living somewhere that is more appropriate to our needs when we get older and, more important, can safeguard us from having to move again.

Specialist retirement operators try to make it as easy as possible

The best approach is to move before you have to and recognise that downsizing means:

unshackling yourself from clutter

having more time and money to enjoy doing the things you want to do and spend time with those you love

removing expenses that come with maintaining a large house and garden

simplifying your life and paring down your possessions to what you need and treasure

Specialist retirement operators try to make it as easy as possible offering decluttering advice, rental options and assistance with selling your home. But at the end of the day it is up to you to do your due diligence, visit as many retirement properties as you can and involve your family in your decision.

Audley Villages, which has 20 villages all over the country, has two excellent guides to downsizing. One is designed for those interested in moving to an Audley village and another to a more affordable Mayfield village.

Audley villages guide to downsizing

Mayfield villages guide to downsizing