Downsizing for Retirement? 5 Things to Ask Yourself

Downsizing for Retirement? 5 Things to Ask Yourself

  • Betsy Phillips
  • 06/14/22

Downsizing and retirement planning 

Are you ready to downsize? Perhaps you’re saving for retirement or have already retired and want a simpler lifestyle. Whatever your reason, there are many benefits to downsizing - but it takes a lot of planning.

Are you ready to make a move? Here are five questions to ask yourself before you do:

1. What are the expenses of my current home vs. new one? 

One key reason people tend to downsize is for the financial freedom of living somewhere smaller and more manageable. In addition, moving to a smaller home can also be physically less demanding.  

Will moving to a smaller space make your living situation more affordable? 

Make sure you calculate all of the expenses of running your current home and compare them to those of your new home. Consider your personal finance goals and ask yourself: is it worth it? How could downsizing financially benefit you?

2. Am I ready to part with my things? 

When downsizing your home, decluttering is necessary. You need to prepare your home for sale and create enough space for your next adventure. Prepare to say goodbye to furniture, clothes, and other items you may have had for decades. 

According to studies, 60% of seniors say they have “more things than they need,” and 75% say the number of things they own makes them “somewhat” or “very” reluctant to move. 

Are you willing to part with unnecessary belongings to move forward into your next adventure?

3. What is my “why”? 

People downsize for many reasons – more financial independence, more opportunity to travel and enjoy life, more access to family or loved ones, less clutter, etc. What’s your “why”? 

Your “why” is very important to remember during the downsizing and decluttering process because the journey can be emotionally and physically draining. Establishing a firm “why” will help you remember your goal and get you excited for life’s next chapter.

4. What is most important to have in my next home? 

Once you determine your “why,” find a new home that fits your wants and needs. For example, if you’re moving to an apartment or a senior community, do the amenities fit your needs? Does the community allow pets and are there quiet places to read and relax? Do you love cooking and need a larger kitchen space? Do you have pets that require a fenced-in backyard? 

Determine your top priorities in a new home, document them in a list of needs and wants, and discuss them with your family and real estate agent.

5. Will I be closer to family? 

Many retired people decide to downsize to be closer to family. If this is your “why,” make sure you are specific about location in your search. Navigate how far you would be from your loved ones and how they can get to you quickly or vice versa in case of emergencies.

Downsizing, decluttering, and selling your home can be overwhelming, especially at first. However, by thinking through these questions, doing some pre-planning, and determining your reasoning for taking this significant life step, you can make the process easier and give yourself peace of mind. 

To learn more about downsizing and selling, get in touch with a reputable real estate agent,  Betsy Phillips.

 

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