Should You Downsize When You Get Older?

As you get older, you may find yourself considering downsizing your home. Reducing the size of your house to a smaller home after retirement can have its advantages, such as addressing mobility issues, allowing you to travel more, and freeing up funds for other things. Before making the decision to downsize, there are a few things to consider, such as the cost of moving and the possible loss of relationships between friends and family. Research by Zillow revealed that nearly three million young adults returned home during the first few months of the pandemic, delaying staff reduction plans for some former empty nests.

Even though life is slowly returning to normal, many people are no longer sure they want to reduce their size, given the uncertainty of life. One of the most common reasons people reduce their size is financial. A general rule of thumb is to not spend more than 30 percent of your income on housing. If you have a fixed income, reducing staff can be an effective way to reduce costs and transfer funds to other things.

Controlling costs is an essential way to plan for retirement, so if you find that you don't need the space and your expenses are becoming a major burden on your finances, it might be wise to downsize. Downsizing to a smaller house or apartment often means less maintenance and upkeep, which can become a hassle as you age. And by saving money on a cheaper mortgage or rent, there is more budget to devote to services such as lawn care, cleaning, maintenance, etc., allowing you to spend more time relaxing and enjoying yourself. Take a look at every item in your home and identify the things that are most useful or that you like the most.

If you haven't used something in more than a year, donate it or throw it away. It's also essential to be realistic about what your physical limitations will be in the future; for example, a one-story house will be easier to navigate than a two-story house. Cash flow from the sale of your current home, a cheaper mortgage or monthly rent, and lower utility bills are all financial benefits you can expect from downsizing. For older people who may want or need more support in their day-to-day lives, a senior housing community is an excellent option.

In practical terms, by reducing its size, you could save money by paying or renting a house you don't live in all the time. Another important reason to consider downsizing has to do with the way in which home maintenance is managed. By reducing the size, you can check the items in your home and get rid of belongings that take up too much space or are no longer used. When you start the process, put a staff reduction session on your calendar just like you would with a doctor's appointment. While many people love their homes and age on site, there may come a time when downsizing is a good idea. To achieve that happy outcome, you must avoid the unexpected difficulties that make downsizing so risky.