According to NextAdvisor, many people downsize in retirement for financial reasons. Selling a larger home for a smaller space often frees up cash for supplemental retirement income or to invest.
However, other reasons to downsize that have nothing to do with money can be equally beneficial. Whether you or aging loved ones are looking to downsize in retirement, here are some things to consider and tips that can help if you’re unsure downsizing is the right move.
The Benefits of Downsizing
Downsizing for seniors isn’t always easy. It not only means giving up the family home, but also giving up possessions too. Seniors often need to be ready to downsize to do so willingly.
If you have an aging loved one considering downsizing, reminding them of the following benefits can make downsizing a bit easier.
Organization is Improved
For retirees who have difficulty getting and staying organized, downsizing stuff can be a big help. Even if they aren’t yet ready to downsize to a smaller space, removing clutter from a current space makes things easier to find and manage.
Relocation Becomes Easier
Every senior may need to relocate at some point, whether moving closer to family or moving into a senior community. It can be much easier to make such a move if downsizing has already happened. Relocating can be emotional enough without the additional emotional challenge of downsizing.
Home Upkeep is Less Challenging
Housework and home maintenance get more challenging as we age. Downsizing stuff to a smaller space means less cleaning and upkeep. It also can mean paying someone less for help around the house if the need arises.
Accessibility Risks Are Minimized
A cluttered home can put seniors at risk for falls, as can stairs, bathtubs, and other aspects of the family home. By downsizing stuff and moving to a single-story smaller home, seniors can increase their chances of being able to age in place.
Downsizing can seem like a monumental task. The following tips can help make the job easier:
Take it Slow: Downsizing is much easier both physically and mentally when you can do it gradually, one room at a time and one weekend at a time.
Remove the Emotion: The thought of getting rid of things that kids or grandkids made or gifts from friends or family is the hardest. First, get rid of things that have no value or meaning. It can make going through other things more manageable.
Pass on Possessions to Heirs: Consider passing along any items you intend to leave to others in your will, no need to wait until your passing.
Take Photos: Sometimes, a picture of a cherished possession can spark the same memories as the actual item. Keeping an item that has monetary value makes sense, but photos of sentimental items will take up far less space.
Help Your Senior Downsize
There are many reasons why seniors should downsize, but none of them make the process feel easier. However, some help from family members and gentle encouragement can. Remember that downsizing is an emotional process and forcing a senior to get rid of things will only make the situation more challenging.
For information on topics relating to housing for aging seniors, browse the blog or get in touch to discuss housing options.