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.
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.
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