Is it time for a Sea Change?

Staff Image NKH Knight

When we think of a sea change we tend to think of a move from the city to the country or the coast and we also associate a sea change more often than not with retirement. This is not always the case and there are now many different types of people looking for a sea change.

Who would be classified as a sea changer?

  • Those looking for a slower pace of life
  • People wishing to downsize and pass some of their assets to their kids
  • Those wishing to free up investment assets to produce income
  • Those approaching retirement
  • Those who can’t afford city housing prices
  • Young couples
  • Families

Considerations for sea changers

Centrelink benefits

Many sea changers sell their city home for far greater value than the cost of their new home.

While this may seem like a great thing, being cashed up can have a detrimental effect on Centrelink payments as assessable assets increase.

Have a contingency plan

The harsh reality is that a sea change may not work out. You should have a plan allowing you to return to your previous environment.

A simple solution may be to take long service leave or even leave without pay that will allow you to trial your new home.

It’s important to have a Plan B even if this is simply going back to what you were doing before.

Be willing to compromise

Sea changing is a costly exercise so you will need to be prepared to accept changes to your ‘dream’ change if necessary.

It’s important to do your research before dreaming big. There is a chance you may not have enough money to live where you want or buy the home you have dreamt of.

Maintain your connections

Don’t burn your bridges before you go. You never know when you are going to have to go back to your old work. If possible take unpaid leave if you can just in case.

The best strategy is to keep your options open. If possible don’t sell your house but rent it out for a period of time to make sure the move is right.

Common Mistakes

  • Underestimating the cost of transition – it is expensive to move house.
  • Believing that sea change living will be cheap.
  • Not having sufficient funds – will depend on how long you plan to move for and what lifestyle goals you have.
  • Not seeking financial advice.
  • Lack of research – many sea changers go on a holiday to a certain destination (usually when it is at its best) and believe it is like that all year around. Visit your desired destination during different times of the year.