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Future Moves' Mark and Maria Trubuhovich answer readers' questions on retirement

My husband and I are thinking of selling our family home because we are worried about having this asset but no cash flow. Is moving to a retirement village our only choice?

Choices depend on your 'drivers' -- friends and family or neighbourhood facilities are common drivers.

You could downsize to an apartment locally, but cash benefits could also come from selling your family home and purchasing two lesser value properties -- one to rent for income and the other to live in.


Depending on age, health and lifestyle, a retirement village could work.

However, you need to consider that the monthly fee and your capital investment could be eroded by as much as 30 per cent.

Start narrowing options down based on what's most important.

I'm a businessman who splits my time between the US and Auckland. I'm the only child of a wonderful mum with increasingly complex home care. Can you help me assess the next step?

Our approach would be to first establish mum's needs with yourself and her GP.

We'd then find a range of care options that meet those needs and report back to you.

Making the decision can be hard, but our experience has shown that the health of a loved one rapidly improves due to increased socialisation.

So our recommendation would be an integrated village with hospital care which would 'future-proof' mum's next stage, should it be required.

I'm a fit, 80-year-old widower. I want to look at home renovations that will help me stay here as I age. Do you have any suggestions on where to start?

We say to clients who've made the decision to 'age in place' that we need to look at any current or anticipated medical conditions and match them with future care requirements.

This would be done in conjunction with your GP.

We then present a range of options for modifications that fit this picture: choices range from what we call 'smart assistive technology' through to handrails in the bathroom, ramps at entrances.

You may even want to consider converting part of your home to include separate accommodation for a live-in carer, should that be required at some point.

I recently lost my husband, have just purchased a retirement village apartment and need to sell the house. It requires some renovation work and I'm worried about trusting a real estate agent with the sale as this is all new to me. I also have far too much 'stuff' for the apartment. Can you help with a plan?

The work required on your property needs to be assessed and carried out by a certified and trusted contractor.

Once that's done, you'd want to assess contractors who can declutter and stage your home to get the best price.

Next there needs to be a selection process of real estate agencies and agents -- they are not all the same. You need an agent you can trust to work hard on your behalf.

We recommend you have an impartial third party to manage the whole process to settlement.

They would regularly report back to your legal adviser.

What would you like to know?
Future Moves offers a professional, independent, support/advocacy and advice service aimed at older New Zealanders.

If you have questions you'd like Mark and Maria to answer in their next +Plus column, please send them to plus@apn.co.nz with Future Moves in the subject line.

On the web: futuremoves.nz