Downsizing. The very sound of the word conjures up fitting your entire life into an old VW Bug. Those who bought that large family home and just finished cleaning it, paying the mortgage
payment on it, and spend a fortune on replacing the air conditioning system, however, might beg to differ when asked about moving into a smaller home.
Memories of family gatherings, where your kids took their first steps and the sight of your huge holiday tree don’t disappear when you downsize. They will be with you forever. As life changes and your nest empties, the idea of a smaller home doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Millions of Americans do it after or even slightly before retirement in seek of a simpler lifestyle, reducing housing costs and eliminating maintenance tasks such as painting, cleaning, and mowing.
What is Downsizing?
In his article about downsizing for MoneyTalksNews, Emmet Pierce says the decision to rent may make selling your home and relocating an easier decision. “Renters can live anyplace they like and sample life in different communities. And once your lease is up — and sometimes even before — you are free to move on.”
But whether you sell and rent something smaller or even buy something smaller, unless you like the idea of paying to use a storage unit each month you’re faced with eliminating clutter. Pierce quotes an organization expert, “Retirees who remain in large homes often end up using only a few rooms, such as their bedroom, kitchen and living room. The other areas usually wind up collecting clutter because maintaining so much space is too difficult and takes up a lot of time that could be spent doing something more enjoyable,” she says.
Downsizing can also increase the enjoyment of your home and reduce stress, according to experts on successful aging. Getting rid of “accent” furniture, unused exercise equipment and outdated electronics can be a freeing experience, offering you more room to breathe.
Questions to Ponder
Tired of facing that set of stairs each day, traipsing up and down them to do laundry, retrieve a forgotten wallet, or just take a nap? Do you pile things on the bottom steps vowing to take them up on your next trip? Stairs can become barriers, also increasing the risks of falls and injuries. Just because you could chase your 8-year-old up them 20 years ago doesn’t mean they must be a permanent part of your life. Downsizing addresses mobility issues offering you the opportunity to choose a home with greater accessibility, enabling you to “age in place” instead of considering an assisted-living facility.
If you moved to the ‘burbs to buy that big family home but miss the convenience and possibilities of living closer to a city center, downsizing might answer that call. Moving to an apartment or condominium in an urban setting can bring you closer to shopping opportunities, restaurants, and entertainment venues, which also means less need for driving. And if you decide to take a post-retirement job (as many do), you’ll be closer to jobs.
Source: MoneyTalkNews, TBWS