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July 20, 2021   |    Blog, Finance and Planning, Independent Living, Planning for Retirement

How to Downsize and Thrive in Retirement

Are you ready to downsize but don’t know where to begin? At Wesbury, we know how overwhelming it can be to downsize late in life. How do you decide what to get rid of and what to keep, where should you live, and how can you make a new house feel like home?

Consider the following tips as you prepare to sell your home and downsize.

3 Questions to Ask Before Downsizing

There’s more than one way to downsize. Ask yourself these questions to plan your retirement move.

1. What is my budget?

 Seniors living on a fixed income can’t afford to overspend. Carefully consider your monthly income and expenses, as well as variables like homeownership costs and property tax rates, when determining what you can afford.

2. What is my home worth?

 Home sale proceeds are often used to make a down payment or pay for long-term care. After estimating your home’s worth using online tools, hire a real estate agent to perform a comparative market analysis. A CMA factors your home’s neighborhood, condition, and specifications to assess its market value.

3. What are my goals?

There are many reasons to downsize, including saving money, simplifying your lifestyle, buying a safer home, or relocating to a retirement community. Your reason for downsizing influences where you’ll live in retirement.

Decluttering Tips for Seniors

Decluttering to downsize is not only time-consuming, but it’s also emotionally draining too. Start early and give yourself plenty of time to accomplish these tasks.

  • Broken, expired, and mismatched items are the first to go when decluttering.
  • Go paperless by digitizing paperwork and photographs. Virtual storage saves space and keeps your most important documents safe.
  • With the easy stuff out of the way, it’s time to tackle book and music collections, clothing, furniture, knick-knacks, and other belongings taking up space in your home.
  • Memorabilia and keepsakes are among the hardest to downsize. Avoiding keeping items out of obligation or guilt. Identify the keepsakes that bring you joy and find creative ways to integrate them into your new space.

Living Large in Small Spaces

Getting rid of things isn’t the only challenge of downsizing. Older adults also must adapt to living in smaller spaces.

  • Take measurements before furnishing your new home. Small spaces require special design considerations including scaled-down pieces and multipurpose furniture.
  • If moving to a retirement community, learn what you’re allowed to bring with you. While some communities only allow residents to bring a few items, others, like Wesbury, let residents fully customize their living space.
  • Staying organized is key when living in small spaces. Storage accessories like drawer organizers and decorative bins keep small homes tidy yet functional.

There are a lot of questions to answer when it comes to downsizing. Luckily, there’s also a lot to gain! As you prepare to sell your home and downsize, consider what type of lifestyle you want in retirement. If maintenance-free living, a convenient campus, and award-winning care sound like what you’re looking for, visit Wesbury and discover all our community has to offer.

Content Provided By: Andrea Needham who is the creator and editor at Elders Day. A lifelong writer, she created her website to share information and resources with other seniors who love living it up as they age. Andrea believes our golden years don’t have to be a time to slow down, and she looks forward to sharing the many health-boosting, fulfilling activities and experiences that are perfect for aging adults.