Downsizing as a govt policy

Gordon Gekko

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Surely the current crisis is an advert for:

- Avoiding nursing homes
- Avoiding apartment living
- Staying in your family home
 

CM1000

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The majority of people aged over 65 don't have any desire to downsize.

For various reasons.

So I don't think it will be a common event.
I agree but this is precisely why I'm researching in this area!
What are the reasons for rejecting downsizing as an option and what are those for choosing it? Many cite the desire to remain in the family home, have space for visiting family, remaining close to neighbours and in familiar community etc.
But are there scenarios in which downsizing would be preferrable? To reduce maintenance responsibilities or release equity?
What would make it more feasible as an option? EG financial supports with related costs, preferential rates/taxes, local options?
Thanks for any input.
 

odyssey06

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Surely the current crisis is an advert for:
- Avoiding nursing homes
- Avoiding apartment living
- Staying in your family home
It's certainly an advert for having your own front door and garden, doesn't necessarily have to be your family home.
 

CM1000

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Yes I've read the initial report referred to in this article but it's low on detail. Full report due Q1 2020 but I haven't seen it.

Compared to tax paid on property for example in us where it is common to work in one state and retire to another.

Fair deal scheme in Ireland for example means it would be financially disadvantaging to down size .
I'm particularly interested in what financial measures would be most likely to encourage mobility and prevent financial losses for those who might desire to rightsize. I'm not at all an expert in finance/tax so this is difficult aspect of my research.

In what way would a 'fair deal' type scheme be financially disadvantageous for down sizing? It was my thought that downsizing would free up equity that could be used by the downsizer, and then if at a later stage they need to access the Fair Deal Scheme and enter nursing home care the cost would be calculated on their current ie smaller home, working out cheaper for the individual and a financial loss to the state. What do you think?
 

CM1000

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The OP has apparently abandoned this topic.
No! I'm here! I just received the first notification of activity today. Weird! But I'm new to this forum so not sure of how it all works. Just catching up on the comments. Cheers
I'd like to know what specific research you've done to get to that conclusion. What data you've collected and analysed. Because it's like you've never even talked to an older person. Or looked at what facilities are needed and do they exist. Have you looked at nursing homes, have you looked at the costs, have you even looked to see properties and communities exist that are suitable for downsizing to. Considering the lack of housing supply for the last decade.
I've conducted extensive research into the various options currently available, both in Ireland and to a lesser extent internationally, and down- or right-sizing is one that has not been given great attention, particularly in Ireland. (EG Govt of Ireland Policy Statement 'Housing Options for Our Ageing Population' published in 2019) This is precisely why I'm researching it - in an effort to identify what possible positive and negative impacts right-sizing could provide. For example for the person living in a large home with large garden who would prefer lower maintenance responsibilities by moving to a smaller house with accessibility to public transport and services. A majority of older people prefer to remain in their own home - I'm looking at this option for those who would be open to, or perhaps need to, move to smaller or more appropriate housing for possibly changing needs.
 

CM1000

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Apartments are of course suited for older people as they present less upkeep and are more accessible. Ireland has a very low share of apartments compared to other western countries though.

A friend of mine has parents who in their mid-60s sold up a four-bed house and moved to a three-bedroom apartment that might be as big as 110 sqm. This kind of property is very hard to find though, most apartments being one- or two-bedroom.
Indeed apartments are one option. But I think smaller units with gardens also need to be more widely available and included in planning.

Two or more bedrooms would certainly be preferrable to only one for most people regardless of age. Space for family to stay over and additionally for possible overnight nursing care in later years.
 

CM1000

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It also says a lot about the community spirit in Ireland. I know loads of retired people who are close to their neighbours and don't want to move away from them.
Very true and a valid reason for remaining in the longterm home. Peace of mind is hugely beneficial to good health.

But as has been mentioned by other commenters options could be provided for in planning that would allow people to remain in their community while relieving themselves of larger properties with high maintenance costs and requirements.
 

AlbacoreA

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That newspaper article is from 2018. It also implies anecdotally a link between under occupancy and an older demographic but the data as presented does not have that data. This is typical of how the media miss reports data for click bait titles. I would not consider that research. In fact I would exclude it, not link to it.

The other "Housing Options for our Ageing Population" all seem to be in the very early stages formation. They plan to collect data from surveys etc, but haven't done of this yet. So they don't have data either.

....I believe there has been a negative slant to the concept of downsizing perhaps as a result of the continuing hangover from colonialism and our preference for owner-occupation....

I disagree. People can't down size if there is nothing suitable to downsize to. You can't sell the idea of downsizing, because there is nothing to sell.
 

AlbacoreA

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Very true and a valid reason for remaining in the longterm home. Peace of mind is hugely beneficial to good health.

But as has been mentioned by other commenters options could be provided for in planning that would allow people to remain in their community while relieving themselves of larger properties with high maintenance costs and requirements.
The property they are in has 3 advantages, location, location, location.

Its far cheaper to upgrade that, than buy a new suitable property (which doesn't exist) in a less than ideal location.
 

odyssey06

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But as has been mentioned by other commenters options could be provided for in planning that would allow people to remain in their community while relieving themselves of larger properties with high maintenance costs and requirements.
That's a very long term horizon if by planning I assume you mean new developments. In Dublin's inner suburbs, people from their 50s on are already in their 'forever' home. It's going to be challenging fitting in downsizable properties that aren't apartments in such locations. Looking at the new developments in my part of Dublin - D3 \ D5 - they are even less suitable for retirees, being largely apartments or 3 storey townhouses.

I'm excluding apartments because of the recent crisis, I think it'll make people think twice about retiring to anywhere that doesn't have own front door and garden (assuming they have them in their current property).

This may be my limited horizons but I struggle to see where, in parts of Dublin that already have developments, people who want to stay in those communities but move to smaller house can be accomodated.
 

CM1000

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It's certainly an advert for having your own front door and garden, doesn't necessarily have to be your family home.
Surely the current crisis is an advert for:

- Avoiding nursing homes
- Avoiding apartment living
- Staying in your family home
Covid19 will definitely will have an impact on people's decisions going forward. But if a person requires nursing home level of care they have little choice currently but to move into one. The provision of higher levels of care in the community has improved but remains challenging and extremely under resourced. This needs further development - sheltered housing is one possibility that works for some.

Your point is well made though that the ability to isolate must be taken into consideration seeing how vulnerable nursing home residents have been during this crisis.
 

AlbacoreA

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Often nursing homes comes after a lengthy period of care in the home. Its people usually at a different stage. Or the supporting family are overwhelmed and unable to cope. Some times is younger people with a disability etc.

Nursing homes, fair deal and home care are all desperately underfunded and under resourced.
 

CM1000

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That newspaper article is from 2018.... not link to it.

The other "Housing Options for our Ageing Population" all seem to be in the very early stages formation. They plan to collect data from surveys etc, but haven't done of this yet. So they don't have data either.
The article was linked by another commentor. As mentioned I have a copy of the initial report but it's very low on info/data. I haven't secured a copy of the full report from this research yet - I don't know if it has even been published. But the initial indicators were that there was a low proportion interested in moving but of a large population so perhaps still worthy of investigation ... other findings included the need for greater supply of suitable dwellings, simplification of the process with security of brokerage - perhaps with state as broker, and financial incentive.

I disagree. People can't down size if there is nothing suitable to downsize to. You can't sell the idea of downsizing, because there is nothing to sell.
Fully agree that there aren't enough options. But providing them will require proof that there is a market (private and/public) for them. Whether or not this market exists is part of what I'm attempting to clarify.

The property they are in has 3 advantages, location, location, location.

Its far cheaper to upgrade that, than buy a new suitable property (which doesn't exist) in a less than ideal location.
That's only applicable if they have 'location'! What if they are isolated in the countryside and can no longer drive? A relocation to the local village or town might be ideal! Or what if the house is older, difficult and/or expensive to heat/insulate, unsuitable for stair lift or other adaptations?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution obviously, so I'm attempting to identify who might actually benefit from right-sizing and how, and beyond that how could this option be provided in a way that is not disadvantageous to those who might wish to consider it.
 

CM1000

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Often nursing homes comes after a lengthy period of care in the home. Its people usually at a different stage. Or the supporting family are overwhelmed and unable to cope. Some times is younger people with a disability etc.

Nursing homes, fair deal and home care are all desperately underfunded and under resourced.
Many older people enter nursing homes following very short or sudden illness such as stroke, or accidents resulting in incapacitation such as broken hip and never return home. Options that reduce the possibilities of accidents should be available for consideration prior to older old age. These options would remove stairs and obstacles that exist in most family homes while allowing the person to retain their independence and remain in their community.

Obviously this would be extremely challenging in more densely populated areas but there are sites in towns and villages all over the country where these requirements could be met with new builds.

The question remains, why are these types of options not currently being considered? Even in the most recent policy statement from govt 'Housing Options for Our Ageing Population'?

(Have you any idea why, every time I try to post a reply, I am told I must wait 850 or whatever seconds before performing this action?)
 

odyssey06

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(Have you any idea why, every time I try to post a reply, I am told I must wait 850 or whatever seconds before performing this action?)
I think there is a limit on how frequently new members can post - to deter spammers.
New members are classed as those with low post count.
 

AlbacoreA

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Many older people enter nursing homes following very short or sudden illness such as stroke, or accidents resulting in incapacitation such as broken hip and never return home. Options that reduce the possibilities of accidents should be available for consideration prior to older old age. These options would remove stairs and obstacles that exist in most family homes while allowing the person to retain their independence and remain in their community....
Environment is only small part of this..?


Even if downsizing solved a small part of this. There is nothing to downsize to that is thus equipped.

I went looking at properties to downsize someone to, I never found one that was a) suitable or b) affordable.

Because something like a single story small bungalow was so scarce they charged a premium far in excess what converting the existing house would be.
 
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