Should you downsize in retirement?
Typically, a larger home is great when you’re raising several kids, regularly hosting guests or running a business from home. But when the kids have grown up and you’ve left the workforce, you might be left with additional space that’s not used anymore. If you’re like 42% of Americans, you may plan to downsize your home in retirement.* There are many benefits to cutting down on clutter and rightsizing your space. Let’s go over a few benefits of downsizing and how to get started.
Benefits of downsizing
• Less home maintenance. Owning a home comes with a surprising amount of maintenance, and the amount can increase with the size of the home. Think about how often you need to mow the lawn, clean out the gutters, stain the deck, sweep the chimney and replace old appliances. These tasks can be time-consuming and costly. By moving to a smaller house, a rental unit or a retirement community, you may be able to reduce or entirely eliminate the amount of home maintenance you need to do.
• Additional free time. You probably want retirement to be a time when you can pursue your interests and spend time with those you love. Downsizing can reduce time spent on your home, letting you spend more time as you please. And if you’re currently acting as caretaker for your spouse, you can move somewhere with at-home care to help alleviate your duties.
• Lower utility costs. The more rooms and square footage a home has, the more money you need to spend on utilities such as heating and electricity. You may also be paying more to connect several rooms to a cable or satellite service or to get strong enough internet for the whole house. Smaller homes and rental units will generally use fewer utilities, and many retirement communities pay for all utilities.
It can be hard to leave behind a home you’ve owned for many years, and most people don’t exactly love the moving process. Fortunately, services exist to help make the downsizing process easier:
• Decluttering experts: Get help deciding what things you should keep, what to give to family and what to toss.
• Estate sales: Clear out your home and make some money by holding an estate sale.
• Senior movers and packers: Whether you just need help with loading and unloading a truck or you want assistance with decluttering, packing, unpacking and arranging, companies offering these services can help.
• Seniors Real Estate Specialists®: These real estate agents are specialized in aiding homebuyers and sellers over the age of 50.
When will you downsize?
If downsizing is in your future, be careful not to put it off for too long. Downsizing can be a far more emotional and difficult process if it’s forced to happen due to an illness or other emergency. Be proactive about your future and start researching your options today.
*Source: TD Ameritrade.