A lot of people go through a downsizing period when retiring. Downsizing can include your living space, family heirlooms and other items. Something to keep in mind when downsizing is to focus on how each of these things will serve you in the future and not the importance they had for you in the past.
Living space is a primary area for downsizing during retirement. A house with multiple bedrooms and levels is great for a growing family, but not so much for a couple or individual. That much space isn’t needed and stairs may no longer be a viable option. Downsizing to a smaller house, condo or retirement home can be a great idea.
Location also plays a factor. Living farther out of town can become a hassle especially if driving abilities become limited. Moving closer to the center of town also saves on gas, leaving more money available to spend on fun activities. Depending on your retirement budget, you could also consider moving to a new town, state or even country. This can cut down on costs depending on the location you choose. There are many areas that are considered great locations for retirees. They are often in warmer parts of the U.S., with lower costs of living and an abundance of activities.
We have a tendency to accumulate stuff throughout our years and are reluctant to let it go. Some of these things are family heirlooms and can be relinquished to family members now instead of waiting. If they just take up room, it might be time to hand them down so someone new can appreciate them. One way to do this is to let your children or relatives decide what they would like. Give them sticky notes and let them go through what you’re wanting to pass down.
Go through the random stuff you’ve accumulated. If it doesn’t serve a purpose in this new phase of your life it can probably be let go. Donate these items to charity or hold a yard sale to make a little extra cash.
The term downsizing can be daunting and cast a bad light. But with retirement it really means having time to sort through your life, mentally and physically, and deciding what will suit you during the next phase of your life.