When and Why You Should Downsize Your Home After Retirement


When and Why You Should Downsize Your Home After Retirement

A home is often seen as one of your best investments, except knowing when to sell it can be hard. Most people choose to downsize when they retire or the kids move out, but that doesn’t make it any easier. There are so many memories wrapped in a place you’ve lived for decades, and it’s tempting to keep it. However, it’s important to know that it might not be worth it.

When to Downsize

With more and more seniors opting to age in place, it can be tempting just to hold onto your house. Before you commit, you and your spouse should sit down and discuss how much sense this makes. Try and keep emotions out of the conversation.

Will your home be able to adjust to your needs as you age? Will you have the right support if you stay? Be sure to take a hard look at your finances too. Large houses can drain your retirement savings fast in utilities alone. Selling your home and downsizing is a great way to save your monthly expenses and add more to your savings, according to CNBC.

Where to Move

The key is to think ahead. If you are going to downsize, try to do it only once. Selling your home is a great excuse to move closer to family or shift into an assisted living facility. Take into account any mobility issues or illnesses you might be predisposed to through family history and find a place that would be able to accommodate your needs. Check for things like ramps, elevator access, non-skid floors, grab bars. If your home does not have them, would you be able to afford modifications if necessary?

Try researching potential homes online first to get a feel for the prices and homes to see what’s available in the location you wish to move to. You want to find a place where you can settle in and live comfortably in their retired life.

How to Downsize

Be sure to ask your friends and family to help with the moving process. It can be an emotional experience, and it helps to have as much support as possible. Take your time with the process and allow yourself to reminisce but don’t hoard onto everything. This is why it’s important to get help, as friends and family will be able to support you along if you are struggling.

When deciding which items you want to keep, it is best to go room by room. Try tackling the larger rooms first, but keep in mind that these are often the most emotional since they contain the most sentimental objects. Remember to take your time. Separate your things into five piles: keep, pass along to family, sell, donate, and throw out. This will help make the process less overwhelming.

Pack Everything Carefully

Moving is difficult enough without downsizing. The key is to stay as organized as possible. Before you even pack anything up, look at a floor plan of your new home and plan where everything goes. Then, as you pack, keep things going in the same room together. Be sure to label the boxes clearly and consider using a color coding system to help the movers out.

Remember that the day of your move you probably won’t have much time to unpack. To reduce stress, Style Home recommends packing a bag with a few sets of clothes and other essentials to get you through the first few days of unpacking.

Moving Day

Leaving a home is never easy. This is especially true of a home where you’ve spent decades raising a family, but downsizing is just another adventure and an opportunity to make new memories. Your new house will be your new home in no time.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Understanding your credit score

Everyone has one. Everyone wants a strong one. Those with poor ones suffer. But few understand the mystery behind how it is figured: a credit score.

Your credit score is determined by:

  • Payment history – Paying bills on time is the best way to improve your score or keep your score strong.
  • Credit history – The longer you have had accounts, the better. Time is the factor that will give your credit score a little boost.
  • New Accounts – Be wary of opening too many accounts, especially all at once. You could appear reckless. Each new account requires a hard inquiry into your credit history and too many of those are harmful.
  • Credit utilization ratio – While opening a lot of new accounts is damaging, closing a bunch down can also have a detrimental effect. This ratio refers to how much you owe vs. how much credit you have available. Shoot for 30 percent or less to keep your credit score healthy. If you want to close some unused credit cards, try to pay any of your debt down at the same time so this ratio doesn’t get out of whack.

A great credit score is more than something to be proud of. Good financial habits lead to a good credit score which then saves you money when you try to borrow money. When you are applying for a mortgage, your excellent credit will get you a fabulous rate, a good score will get you a good rate, and a bad credit score could make it difficult to borrow the money you need.

Spring Fun in Palm Beach County

You have plenty of options for fun activities this spring in Palm Beach County – from music to art to late-night graveyard tours!

If you like festival fun and hot music, you do not want to miss Sun Fest during the first week of May, with art vendors, fireworks and every type of music under the sun. It happens all along the Intracoastal waterway in downtown West Palm Beach.

Before it gets too hot, take a hike through the only state park in Palm Beach County: John D. Macarthur Beach State Park. With two miles of beaches, kayak rentals, and hiking trails, plus a monthly Cruisin’ Food Fest & Concert Series, you can’t miss.

If the temperatures outside are already too much for you, go for art and culture in air conditioning: Check out the unusual and beautiful Glasstress exhibit at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. This exhibit displays examples of glass art work from Murano, Italy. “The results challenge our notion of glass as a ‘beautiful’ material and encourage us to explore the bold, political, and sometimes less than pristine aspects of the medium,” explains the museum’s website.

And now for something completely different: make a reservation for a moonlight graveyard tour in downtown West Palm Beach. Not a haunted tour, but a history of our little spot in paradise told by the gravestones of the pioneers who settled the area. The tours are held only when the moon is full at Woodlawn Cemetary, not far from the Norton Art Museum. Bug spray is highly recommended. For reservations, call 561-804-4900.







5 easy ways to transform home

paint improvementsBored by your abode? Here are 5 easy and inexpensive (some free!) things you can do to energize your castle.

  1. Declutter. Rather than spend money to add new things to your residence, take time to reduce objects instead. Throw out unnecessary papers. Return borrowed items. Donate excess toys, books, knick-knacks and kitchen clutter to charity. Your home and your spirit will feel lighter.
  2. Rearrange. Another no-expense option is to rearrange the furniture and artwork you already own. Don’t let routine get you into a rut. Change the position of the couch and easy chair in the family room. Move book shelves to an opposite wall, and rearrange the books and objects on them. Swap artwork from one room to another. You’ll see beloved objects in a new way and transform your home at the same time.
  3. Freshen up. If you want to spend a little money, your best deal is paint. Consider changing the color of a room or a piece of furniture. A fresh shot of color or even a clean blank slate will make any space feel new again.
  4. Add Spring. April is the wrong time to plant flowers outside in South Florida, so instead purchase a flowering plant for inside your home. This will last longer than cut flowers anyway and bring a feeling of spring to your house.
  5. Focus on foyer. If money and time are limited, focus only on the entrance of your home. Get more effect for your effort by having that fresh paint or decluttered shelves be the first thing you and guests see as you walk in. That transformative feeling will make its impact right away.