Phil Usher has been part of the aged-care sector for almost 20 years. Here, he gives us an insight into this opportunity to simplify your life and free yourself in your later years.

A Brand New Adventure: Don’t Doubt Downsizing

So, you’re downsizing. You’ve reached that inevitable next phase in life to simplify, de-clutter and take stock of what’s really important to you. But don’t fret, downsizing can also mean that a whole new adventure is on the cards!

To some, the prospect of downsizing can evoke uncertainty or fear. This big change in life can be more akin to pulling teeth, or getting cornered into a gruelling timeshare presentation. But downsizing doesn’t have to dampen your spirits or create unnecessary worries – in fact, it should be the exact opposite!

First and foremost, you need to change your mindset and see downsizing as an opportunity for a new beginning, because that is exactly what it is. It should be viewed as a new era; one we should encourage ourselves and our loved ones to approach with zest and excitement.

Odyssey Residents: Don’t Doubt Downsizing

The people we see at Odyssey often feel a little daunted and overwhelmed with the idea of moving from a large home into a smaller setting. And of course, it is difficult when you or a loved one has been in the same house for many years and then it’s time for the next stage. But it’s also important to feel comfortable with the process.

dont doubt downsizing for your retired life
Downsize and lead a comfortable retired life

Life is full of stuff and most of us spend a significant amount of time accumulating bits and bobs over the years to remind us where we’ve been, what we’ve seen and who we love. But as we age, clutter can become an issue, creating trip hazards, and making it difficult to find things.

Enjoy downsizing for a beautiful retired life
Downsizing can be beautiful if done correctly

When you start to declutter, don’t view this as a painful departing process, but instead see it as a way to empower either ourselves or our loved ones with choice and control. It’s often thought that our children or grandchildren will want to hold onto various items, but sadly and unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Don’t Doubt Downsizing, Pick Out Items Close to Your Heart

Hold onto the things that have meaning, whether it’s family pictures, a favourite reading chair or a few items that hold special memories. Everything else is mostly just ‘things’. A general rule to follow is, if it hasn’t been used in six months, it’s probably not needed.

One of the best things about downsizing is the ease of living in a low-maintenance environment. While it can be challenging to adjust to a new schedule and a whole new lifestyle, it’s always a pleasant surprise to have more freedom and time to do the things you love.

Whether it be spending more quality time with family and friends or engaging in new social activities, downsizing is a chapter of life that should not cause angst. It truly is a time for you to live your best life, and perhaps take up a new hobby that you didn’t have the time for before. Downsizing can bring out a whole new era of self-discovery for you that maximises the most essential elements of life – having fun and being happy and healthy.

When considering your new space, identify the things that are important to you. Things like access to quality care, remaining independent, maintaining a sense of control, living in a pet[1]friendly setting, and being able to bond with those you love.

Choosing the Correct Location

Choose somewhere that aligns with your values, what you want, and what kind of lifestyle you want to maintain. You want to be able to focus on continuing life as normal as possible in a great atmosphere – while feeling safe and secure about where you live. My whole goal is to ensure that Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities combine the best of retirement resort community living with first-class care built in.

Remember, the moral to the story is to change the way we see downsizing. Don’t doubt downsizing. It’s a new beginning and something you can take on with a smile and excitement. It’s about decluttering, but also about experiencing something new – a space where you’re comfortable, safe and happy. ■

For more of Phil’s insights, and the opportunity to ask questions, check out

Phil's picture
Picture of Phil

Phil Usher

PHIL USHER has been part of the aged care sector for almost 20 years. He has a keen understanding of what seniors want when it comes to living out their twilight years on their own terms.

Phil’s Mum, who passed away from dementia-related complications, was the driving force behind why he’s created an alternative to traditional aged care. When considering aged care for her, Phil couldn’t find a place that offered her the kind of life she wanted. So he made improving aged care his odyssey. If it’s not good enough for the people Phil loves, it’s simply not good enough.

Phil’s determination to create the best alternative to aged-care led to a fresh, heart-centred approach known as a Lifestyle Care Community. At Odyssey the power is given back to residents. People are put first, they have their own home in a lifestyle-orientated community, couples stay together, pets are welcome, grandkids have sleepovers and most importantly – comfort, dignity and independence are the first priorities.

Click here, to know more about the lifestyle of silver citizens.

Looking to Downsize? Check Out The Event

Looking to Downsize? Check Out The Event

Thinking about downsizing? Then check out this upcoming event – it has free tips for seniors preparing for retirement.

SENIORS CAN DISCOVER valuable insights into preparing for retirement living when one of the country’s foremost experts, Rachel Lane, shares her tips at a free event. The gathering will be hosted by RetireAustralia’s The Verge at Burleigh G.C. retirement community.

Rachel is the Principal of Aged Care Gurus, and has authored several books on age-related issues.

RetireAustralia: Seniors Looking to Downsize

RetireAustralia’s CEO, Dr Brett Robinson said the free session was designed to demystify the process of buying into a retirement community. “Getting ready for retirement can seem overwhelming at first. That is why RetireAustralia is committed to providing seniors with free access to leading industry experts, to help them find the right home to suit their needs. Seniors can discover what they need to know about the ingoing, ongoing and outgoing costs of retirement living at this session, gain a basic understanding of the way different contracts work and how to approach the task of downsizing.’’

Rachel said that while there were many factors to weigh up before moving into retirement village living, there were many benefits. “Initially for many it may seem easier to stay in your own home, but there’s usually a turning point such as the loss of a spouse or health concerns that exacerbate social isolation and prompt a reconsideration. Once people move into a village, they commonly ask themselves why they didn’t do it sooner.’’


■ Get a feel for the community: Many retirement communities host Friday night happy hours. Or in the case of The Verge, regular Meet Your Future Neighbours events. Join in these activities for a sense of how you will fit in.

■ Understand your contract: Your contract may have consequences for your pension. Your ability to afford the lifestyle you want as well as aged care into the future. Unfortunately, contracts are rarely looked at after they are signed, and the unexpected happens. Break the contract into three time zones. Before you move in, while you live there and when you leave to help identify what happens when.

■ Crunch the numbers: A lot of people look at just the upfront costs. But for a true comparison you should factor in ingoing, ongoing and outgoing costs such as exit fees.

■ Seek advice: As with any major purchase, it is important to seek independent advice from reputable legal and financial experts, as well as understand how downsizing may affect your investments. pension and how you structure your superannuation.

The exclusive Rightsize your Retirement information session will be held from 10am to 12noon. March 30 2021, at the Ocean View Room at North Burleigh Surf Club, 293 The Esplanade, Miami.

Places for the Rightsize your Retirement session are limited. RSVP is essential by visiting the website at or call 1800 955 070. A light morning tea will be served before the presentation.

Click here to get more info about Burleigh.

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