There comes a time when many of us get older and we’ll need to downsize.

Some of the main reasons people choose to do so is to free up equity for living expenses as government payments may not be enough to live on.

As we get older, a number of us will prefer to live in a smaller house. Others may be tired of tending to the needs of a house and might not have the money or ability to invest in the up-keep. Some people plan to travel when they get older, so moving to maintenance/worry free property like a condo makes that a lot easier. On the other side of the spectrum, some people will move for health and mobility issues.

Older people in Canada enjoy living in a number of different types of housing options. This includes active-adult communities, apartments and condos.

A garden suite might work well for grandparents who want to be close to their family. Garden suites are small ancillary structures containing a kitchen and bathroom used for a parent and must be licensed through the municipality. There are also retirement communities with various levels of care. You buy a condo and use the services as you start needing them.

If you are helping a parent or friend move out of their place, it’s important to be aware that this can be a tough decision for them. Start the conversations early and respect their wishes. It’s hard for someone who has lived in a home for many decades to see light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a lot of work and a little help, especially with the clutter, can go a long way.

It’s also very important to hire the right person. Have a real estate agent who is sensitive to your needs and understands your scenario.

A baby boomer selling the family home will have different needs than someone who is purchasing their first condo. It’s also very important to have a short-term and long-term plan in place before you start this process. Know what it is you can afford and what you’ll need in your new place.