December 20, 2018

The Best Is Yet to Come: Downsizing in Your Golden Years

by Tibor Bogdan
December 20, 2018

Are you a homeowner? Are you a senior citizen? Are you ready for a change? Do you find yourself wanting to decrease your responsibilities? Would you like to have some extra cash and less debt? If the answer is yes to any or all of these questions, then it may be time for you to consider downsizing. You’ve spent your life building your assets and working hard. Now is the time for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor and live a simpler life.

Benefits to Downsizing

Below are just a few of the many benefits downsizing can offer.

  • Less cleaning – Smaller spaces inherently mean less dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, scrubbing, wiping, and so on, which allows more time for relaxation.
  • Less maintenance – You’ll have fewer rooms and a smaller lawn to upkeep.
  • Fewer expenses – During the winter, you’ll have fewer spaces to heat; in the summer, fewer spaces to cool. Also, a smaller property means lower insurance premiums.
  • Less clutter – Less space means less stuff. You won’t be hoarding the clothes you haven’t worn in two years, the books you never intend to read, the kitchen appliances and dishes you never use, and the family heirlooms you keep out of duty.
  • More savings – If you own your home with equity, a sale will result in a profit, and you can reinvest into something smaller while keeping the rest in savings.
  • More joy – According to HomeAdvisor, “Having fewer financial and maintenance-related responsibilities will allow you to focus more on your happiness and less on your home.” For example, you can invest in your life by going on that hard-earned vacation.

Find the Right Home

After you’ve decided to downsize, the next step is finding your new home. It’s not enough to find a home with less square footage — you’ll want to make sure your new home comes with all the benefits associated with downsizing. If you’re living in a five-bedroom home in a small country town, downsizing to a one-bedroom apartment in the city probably won’t be cost-effective.

Consider the reasons for needing to downsize, such as tax considerations, smaller outdoor spaces, costs, and needs for renovations. Then, evaluate what you want, which may be things such as community, new appliances, or locality. Utilize online sources when searching for listings to narrow down your options, and then schedule tours of your favorite homes.

What to Keep and What to Toss

The moment you’ve decided to downsize to a smaller home, be proactive indecluttering. Smaller living spaces will also mean you’ll have less space to house your belongings. Start by going through your items and decide whether you want to take them, give them away, sell them, or trash them. Above all, if at all possible, avoid storage. The belongings you take with you should be either meaningful or items you use all the time.

Consider giving items to loved ones or donating gently used items to people in need. Conduct a cost-versus-value analysis when it comes to selling your belongings, and determine whether the time it takes to sell the item will outweigh the amount you can bring in. Perhaps a half-day garage sale will bring in a good amount of money, or maybe you have a few things you can sell online to bring in some extra revenue. Finally, all the items that don’t belong in any of the other categories should be trashed or recycled.

There’s no time like the present to live life to the fullest. By downsizing, you can reap the benefits that come with it. So, evaluate the benefits when searching for a home that will meet your desires and embrace the decluttering process and free yourself from excess items. Downsizing is a great way to begin a new chapter, and the best is yet to come.

Guest article written by:
Mike Longsdon

Photo Credit: Pexels

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