Downsizing, Retirement, and Financial Planning in Toronto

Retirement Transition for Downsizers in the GTA or Southern Ontario

Your third age of life is just around the corner. Maybe you’re about to retire or you already have. Let’s talk about retirement planning. When you hear that term, what comes to mind?

If you’re like many of our clients, you’ll think about the money you’ve saved up. Maybe you’ll wonder how much wealth you’ll need to leave your work behind and live an enjoyable and purposeful life throughout your golden years.

Solid financial planning is a crucial part of downsizing in retirement and preparing for your third age. But retirement is so much more than dollars and cents.

The non-financial side of retirement is something that few people plan for. At Transitions, we don’t see rightsizing as a simple “sell-your-big-house-and-buy-a-smaller-one-to-save-money” transaction. We see downsizing in retirement as a lifestyle change that opens the door to a happy and fulfilling third age.

retired man enjoying downsizing

Now It’s YOUR Time

What’s next in your life? The options are endless!

When we ask clients to imagine their ideal retirement, often the first thing they mention is sunny beach locations with cocktails. Yes, you can start with a luxury vacation hitting all the destinations on your bucket list. But once the honeymoon is over—then what?

At Transitions, we believe you have the freedom to choose. We believe your third age is your time to shine after years or decades of putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own.

Whether it’s pursuing your hobbies, giving back by volunteering, spending more time with family, embarking on a second career, or all of the above—now is the time to think about the everyday lifestyle you want for yourself.

When you go through the Transitions Downsizing Done Right program, in our exclusive 3-step process we’ll help you discover what really matters to you in this third stage of your life. 

We’ll also identify any professional expertise you may need* to help you explore your financial situation. Your personalized transition plan will include steps to help you move into your next chapter while protecting and managing your wealth.

The Sky’s the Limit

Downsizing in retirement means upsizing your lifestyle. Dream big! You deserve it.

When we ask clients to list their guilty pleasures or things they’d love to do, here are some of the things they say.

Are any of these you?

“I love the urban vibe. I want to move downtown and walk everywhere I go. Like restaurants, the theatre, shops, galleries, concerts. And all my friends live downtown, so I’d get to see them more often.”
“I want to find a little cottage by the lake. Live a simple life connected to the outdoors. Maybe buy a boat, go fishing every morning, and watch the sunset every evening with my wife.”
“I’m the adventurous type. I’ve always wanted to buy an RV and drive across the country. Spend winters down south and summers up here. My son and grandkids live just outside Toronto. I’d want to move near them in a little place of my own.”
"My family speaks Mandarin and I’ve always wanted to learn it. And play the violin. I see myself doing a lot of reading and taking classes. My husband’s got his own ideas of what he wants to do, but we both know we don’t need our big house anymore.”
“I’ve heard about adult communities for people my age. Golfing, hiking, playing tennis—that’s my thing. And my partner and I want everything to be close by—like grocery stores, shopping, restaurants, medical facilities.”

But what if you’re not sure what you want? We get it—downsizing in retirement is a major and very emotional life transition. If you want, we can refer you for retirement coaching* to help you discover what gives you meaning, joy, and purpose.

Financial Planning When Downsizing in Retirement

To lay the groundwork for a comfortable and stable retirement, you need a strong financial plan.

Though money isn’t everything, good financial management gives you the peace of mind you need for an easier transition. Done right, financial planning sets the wheels in motion toward the downsizing lifestyle you crave. It also helps you prepare for your golden years and provide for your loved ones.

Investing Your Home’s Equity

We’re guessing you’ve paid off your home’s mortgage, or at least you’re pretty close. As part of your journey when you’re downsizing in retirement, you’ll be selling your home in Toronto or the GTA. That begs the question: what will you do with the equity?

A financial advisor* can help you understand your equity investment options. For example, if you buy a third-age home, should you invest your current home’s equity—or some of it—directly into your purchase? That would mean paying cash for your new home or at least putting down a large down payment.

When you go through the Transitions Downsizing Done Right program, we’ll ask you whether you already have a financial advisor you’re happy with or whether you need a referral*. Your financial advisor will help you build your retirement nest egg with the equity from your home’s sale.

If your third-age home will be a purchase and you need financing, we can refer you to one of our trusted partners*, if needed. For example, you may need a mortgage or, if you buy your new home before you sell your existing one, you may benefit from a bridge loan that you’ll pay back once you sell.

downsizing in retirement

Nailing Down Your Retirement’s Financial Specifics

As you’re downsizing in retirement, you’ll probably have lots of questions about your money and investments. A financial advisor can answer these questions and more:

  • To retire at the age you want, how much do you need to save each year? Each month? Each week?
  • How much money do you need to have when you retire?
  • Once you’re retired, how much can you afford to spend?
  • Once you’re retired, what are the wisest ways to draw from your assets?
  • How can you minimize your taxes over time?
  • What happens financially if you get sick, injured, or disabled? And what happens when you die?

Your financial plan should also include estate planning. If your current trusted financial advisor doesn’t provide estate planning services, we can help you find someone* to consult with specifically about estate planning.

Preserve and Share Wealth with Estate Planning

Although we don’t like to think about dying, it happens to all of us eventually. Have you ever thought about what will happen to your assets when you die? An estate planner can help you establish how they’ll be distributed amongst your family members and any causes you wish your money to go to.

In this way, estate planning preserves your wealth and property for your kids, your grandkids, and other family members that you want to benefit. It also lets you share your money with your favourite charities and know it will go toward a good cause.

Estate planners can help you determine tax implications upon death, decide how to divide assets among family members, and get ready to meet with an estate lawyer about your will.

black couple downsizing and retired

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

If you don’t have a will, or your will needs updating, we recommend you contact an estate lawyer, or at least prepare a valid will yourself. We can introduce you to a lawyer* if needed.

If you die without a will, your property and assets may not get distributed to your loved ones in the way you wish. You also may cause headaches for your family, who may have to spend extra time, money, and energy settling your affairs.

Along with a will, you should also have a personal-care and a property power of attorney. These documents let you appoint someone you trust to make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

Downsizing in retirement—are you ready both emotionally and financially?

If you’re thinking of using your home’s equity to fund your active, healthy third age, let’s book a time for a friendly conversation

NO OBLIGATION. This is a complimentary chat to get to know each other and see whether we might be a good fit for you.
* Fees may apply for services provided by third-party providers such as financial planners, retirement coaches, movers, cleaners, professional organizers, new home builders, home inspectors, designers, lawyers, stagers, and more.