Many people mistakenly associate downsizing with downgrading which is simply not the case. Downsizing for retirement allows you to live a simpler, more fulfilled life. Moving to a smaller space can actually allow you to live a bigger life. So whether downsizing has just recently crossed your mind, or if you’ve been considering this option for a while, you’re probably wondering what the benefits are. Here we will go over some of the benefits to downsizing for retirement living.
To move, or not to move
Retirement brings many changes to our lives. It’s a time where you have to consider how you spend your time, how you spend your money, and which hobbies you want to focus on. Retirement is a time when you have to ask yourself the big questions. One of the big questions that new retirees have to ask themselves is where to live. Do you continue living where you are now, or do you choose to downsize to a more manageable living space?
Selling your family home is a tough decision to make. You’ve probably made some incredible memories in your home. Watching your children grow up, making friends around your neighbourhood, creating a lifestyle around your environment, these are all things that are difficult to leave behind. Selling your home is a decision that usually comes as you realize that maintaining a larger house and a yard is actually a lot of work, especially if you’re an empty nester and no longer have kids around to help out with daily chores and tasks.
So what are the benefits of downsizing?
Do you really enjoy mowing the grass every weekend? Is shoveling your driveway an enjoyable way to spend your mornings? Retirement should be a time of relaxation and freedom, you’ve worked hard for many years to get to retirement and now, it’s time to really enjoy the life you’ve worked so hard for. Life itself is stressful, especially during times like these, so anything we can do to eliminate a little bit of that stress is important.
When you downsize, you are no longer responsible for maintaining and keeping up with a large space. A smaller space is simply easier to manage, both physically and financially. When you downsize, you reduce your maintenance and living expenses such as property taxes, utilities, plumbing, landscaping and many others. These expenses can be significantly lowered through downsizing which in turn works to lower your stress levels and give you some peace of mind, allowing you to better enjoy your retirement.
For the majority of people, organization is difficult at any stage of life, whether you’re a student, raising children or living on your own, but it can get easier during retirement. Downsizing forces you to choose what you actually need in your life, you can’t pack up your entire home and shove it into a smaller space without feeling cramped up and overwhelmed. Downsizing is a great motivator to go through your belongings and donate or sell your unneeded items. This also helps you decide and determine what is really important to you which is beneficial when transitioning into retirement. Once you’ve established the items you want to keep, it’s much easier to stay organized and you’ll have a lot less to worry about and maintain.
Focus on the important things
Similar to getting organized, downsizing also pushes you to transition from accumulating possessions to collecting memories. For many people, it’s around the age of retirement when you realize that what makes you feel happy and fulfilled are not the material belongings in your life, it’s the people, the knowledge and the experiences you have. Your perspective on life often changes when you acquire a new lifestyle, allowing you to focus on what will be valuable, useful and beneficial in a new environment. Decluttering your belongings allows you to see and be mindful of how your values have changed over the years, and how they will continue to evolve. Downsizing gives you the ability to focus on your personal journey, your life goals, hobbies and habits you want for your future rather than maintaining your living space.
Choosing your environment
During retirement it’s important to remain physically, socially and mentally active. Your surrounding environment plays a large role here. Downsizing provides you with the opportunity to position yourself in an area that is beneficial and complementary to your desired lifestyle. You can relocate to a neighbourhood or community that provides you with the convenience of an active lifestyle surrounded by people living in a similar stage of life as you. Maybe you love to go for walks, or read at the library. You might have a desire to be closer to a yoga studio or a good coffee shop. Moving to an area that offers these conveniences helps to ensure that you will lead the life you want to live in your retirement with ease.
Travelling is a common practice among retirees. You are no longer tied to your job and you have been granted freedom to do as you please and go where you wish. Moving around is a great way to spend your retirement, but as you age moving, cleaning, decluttering and relocating is not as easy a task as it once may have been. Downsizing your belongings is a great way to ensure easy relocation abilities. You’ll have less items to worry about and less financial cost when leaving your space unattended. It’s also much easier to pack up and go whenever you please which is one of the major benefits of living in retirement.
Reaching retirement usually indicates that you are in the later years of your life, and as you continue to age, your body struggles to keep up. Daily tasks and everyday movement becomes more difficult and small things such as climbing up and down stairs suddenly becomes a challenge. To prevent aching muscles and bones, downsizing has a benefit. You are able to downsize to a building or home with minimal mobility concerns. This could be a one story home, or an apartment complex that allows you to move about freely without concern. Moving around your living space is not something that you want to be worried about as you’re living in your golden years. Removing this concern is an action many individuals take to live a care free life.
Take Away Point
Retirement is an accomplishment many of us have looked forward to for a number of years, we crave freedom, convenience and simplicity. Downsizing offers you the opportunity to transition into retirement in a way that is complementary to your desired lifestyle without sacrificing quality. Allowing you to live a fulfilled, stress free retirement life.