Rightsizing, or downsizing, has never been more important for retirees. Finding a home that fits your season of life sometimes means a change of scenery. And while most seniors are hesitant about making the rightsizing move, we’ve found that most, find relief when they make the decision.
So what is rightsizing?
Rightsizing is the process of ensuring your home environment fits your season of life. It’s the idea that your home, and the things inside it, should work for your retirement goals, not against them. We rightsize often in our lives. We buy new pants when we lose a few pounds. We invest in jar openers when the pickle lids seem tighter than they used to. We find a larger home to accommodate a growing family. Rightsizing comes in all shapes and sizes. And if you’re considering rightsizing your retirement, it’s important to choose the right time, the right place and the right-size.
Deciding the right time for rightsizing your retirement might be a fast decision, but for most seniors, it takes time and careful decisions. Some signs the time might be right include:
- A lack of interest in doing yard work or home maintenance.
- Feeling that your home is too big to maintain (unused rooms, too much to clean, etc.).
- Desiring a change in lifestyle: wanting to travel more, seeking additional social opportunities, wanting to be around people in your season of life.
- Experiencing health conditions that either require more support and/or make home maintenance more difficult.
Choosing the right place is just as important as timing. There are many options - a smaller home, apartment or senior living and retirement living communities. Senior living and retirement living provide amenities and lifestyle opportunities the others don’t, like on-site support, social amenities, and neighbors in your season of life. Do your research on the right place for you and your needs. Not sure where to start? Download our free Retirement Living Planning Guide
Reducing the size of your space probably means reducing the size of your stuff. It can be really difficult to downsize things, especially when memories are attached. Begin by evaluating the rooms of your new living environment. How big are they? What are the basic needs of each? Start with something simple like the bathroom or a living room. If you have three bathrooms now, but your new home has only one - there is some downsizing to do. If your new living room is a lot smaller than yours, you may need to evaluate which seating options will fit. Go room by room and evaluate basic needs and list out what of yours will fit and what you can do without. Start with easier rooms (low emotional-ties) and work up to more emotionally charged items like keepsakes and storage. Sort items into categories like “Take,” “Donate,” “Sell,” “Give to Family,” and “Trash.”
It make take several days or weeks to go through everything. Don’t get discouraged! Enlist the help from family and/or organization professionals. For more help on downsizing stuff, check out one of our favorite books from Marni Jameson, Downsizing the Family Home.
For your step-by-step guide on you or your loved one’s road through retirement, download our free Retirement Planning Guide. Inside, you’ll find our proven four-step process for knowing the right first step for you or your loved one, including when to know when the timing is right, getting everyone on the same page and financial considerations. Click HERE to download your free copy today.