Downsizing your home is a sensible decision once you reach your older retirement years. Your family has moved out, your children are starting their own families and hosting their own holidays, and your retirement savings could definitely use the help of a smaller budget and additional cash to help you lead the kind of lifestyle you want.
It can be difficult to downsize from a home where you’ve spent years. Between leaving your home and getting rid of so many of your belongings, it can be an emotional process. To make it easier, plan how you’re going to downsize, where you’re going to move, and find a way to look forward to the change. With these downsizing tips for seniors, you can make sure the process is a smooth one.
#1 Choose a Place Close to Your Community, Friends, and Family
When you’re choosing a new, more convenient place to live, make sure it’s close to the community you’re leaving. The familiarity of your neighborhood, whether it’s an older part of the city or a suburban community you’ve grown to love, is an important part of who you are.
#2 Live Somewhere You Will Enjoy
If you’re considering senior apartments in a retirement residence, make sure you choose a place that will fit your lifestyle. Love to make new friends? Look for retirement residences with an active social calendar, including clubs, games, movie nights, and fitness and exercise classes to help stay healthy and mobile.
#3 Capitalize on Your Home
Selling your home and downsizing does two things to help a tight budget; it infuses your retirement plan with a capital injection and it reduces your monthly costs. Owning a single-family home when you don’t need that space can be an unnecessary expense. You have to keep up with maintenance, property taxes, and utilities that you’re using inefficiently. Downsizing will help you rebuild your wealth. Talk to your financial advisor about how you should invest or save the money you gain from your home to last you longer and achieve the lifestyle you want.
#4 Decluttering Your Home
Before the move, there is a lot of stuff you are going to have to dispose of or donate. Consider this: if you are downsizing from 2,500 square feet to 1,000 square feet or less, you will have to find a new home for more than half of your things.
Some objects will be easy targets. You can easily donate things like holiday decorations and kitchen goods you won’t need when you move into a senior apartment. Take those objects that mean a lot to you, or pass them down to your children and grandchildren.
#5 Have Your Family Help You Sell Some of Your Stuff
Before you take things to the trash or donation center, consider getting your family to help you place items on eBay or Amazon and make some money. By selling your stuff online you can make more money than you would at a traditional yard sale, where you mostly get bargain-hunters rather than people who are actively looking for the items you have for sale.
Downsizing is a great opportunity to start fresh, earn some money, and trim your budget. Find a place you’ll love to live and go from there.