Many of us spend a lifetime building a home for our family. A place to live, where friends also gather and where memories are made. Our focus over an extended period of time was turning “those four walls” into a home but what about when that home, now that we are 50+ or approaching retirement, is WAY too big and WAY too empty? What’s next? Perhaps it’s time to consider downsizing. For many, what took a lifetime to create can be hard to give up. It’s equally hard to determine what stays and what goes. To those folks, we pass along the advice of a very wise person who once said: “four walls don’t make a home – we do.” In other words, if it’s time to downsize, it’s still you, your family and friends, that make the home, not its size or location. Don’t be afraid to downsize.
The Benefits of Downsizing
- A larger home means more to clean: Chances are now that the kids are grown and whether or not a spouse is still in the picture, you have rooms that are rarely used. That doesn’t stop the dust or our tendency for clutter to collect there “while we figure out what to do with it.” That means cleaning still has to be done, taking both time and energy tidying up largely unused spaces. Downsizing – or even right-sizing – helps streamline this task giving you more time to think about how to make new friends!
- Smaller is usually more budget-friendly: There are almost always financial benefits to selling the family home and right-sizing to something smaller. Whether a mortgage is paid off or not, selling “large” and buying “small” should help free up some cash and a little extra always goes a long way. Perhaps you can now take a vacation that was not otherwise an option. Using Amintro, “where grown ups come to meet new friends” you might even find a new friend to accompany you on your travels!
- Downsizing to a community of like-minded individuals will help enhance and expand your social network. Often, neighborhoods tend to experience a change in dynamic. Where once young families flourished, as those children grow and leave home, people leave the community and new young families move in. This can leave you, as someone 50+, feeling a little lonely and lost. While Amintro offers a free service, matching folks for friendship, downsizing to a retirement community, a condominium or apartment where other seniors also live decreases any feelings of being a social outcast.
- Downsizing gives you freedom and flexibility to travel more freely and with ease. Just lock your door and go! No grass cutting to worry about, no freezing water pipes to come home to. No driveway to shovel if you’re living in a snowy region!
- Downsizing will definitely save you money in terms of energy and other related costs.
- Downsizing reduces the clutter and gives you a fresh start. Not everything has sentimental value and there’s something “freeing” about letting things go. Do you really need a 24 place setting of china now that you’re not hosting large family gatherings? Keep a few cherished keepsakes or family heirlooms and take pictures of the rest. Help out charities that support your community by donating items you simply no longer need.
In short, if you’re 50+ and/or considering retirement, you might also want to consider downsizing. If family has “flown the coop” and you no longer need three of your four bedrooms and two of your three baths, it not only makes financial sense but also gives you more freedom and flexibility to start living life on your terms. With careful planning and attention to detail, anyone can learn to live in a smaller space and chances are you’ll also come to appreciate the many advantages of doing so. Change is challenging but often rewarding too. Just remember, it’s not the four walls that make a home – it’s you! If you’re looking to fill that new space with new friends, join Amintro today. We can help.
Written by Sheralyn Roman