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How to Know When it's Time to Downsize

Recent research indicates that 55 percent of baby boomers plan to move after they retire. And, 44 percent of boomers will be seeking a smaller home that requires less maintenance than their current home. In fact, it’s reported that by the year 2030, boomers will have moved out of around 26 million homes across the country.

These statistics indicate a growing trend in the United States; that many seniors recognize the benefits of downsizing their homes in their retirement years. While it’s true that moving from a long-time home can be an emotional affair, today’s older adults are ready to enjoy a carefree lifestyle, eliminating some of the burdens of home ownership.

Signs You Should Consider Downsizing Your Home

Not sure if it’s time to start packing up your home and researching local retirement communities? Here are a few of the signs that downsizing could lead to a better quality of life:

You spend too much time on home maintenance. If you’re spending your weekends mowing the lawn, cleaning, or completing chores on your never-ending “to-do” list, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the upkeep your home requires. Plus, as you age, some tasks may become too difficult or even pose a threat to your overall health due to chronic conditions or mobility issues you’re facing.

You haven’t used some of the rooms in years. When certain rooms in your home become storage spaces, or you haven’t even been in them since your children moved out, it’s possible that you simply no longer need all those bathrooms and bedrooms. Plus, maintaining all that unused space can take up a lot of your precious time.

You would like to save some money. Even if your mortgage is paid in full, the cost of living in your home is always on the rise. Upkeep, taxes, and big-ticket repairs can quickly add up and deplete your savings account.

You need to reduce your stress and enjoy more free time. Downsizing your home leads to a reduction in your overall stress. When you move to a senior living community, staff members are there to do all the heavy lifting, giving you plenty of free time to pursue the things you enjoy doing most.

You would like a peace of mind for your future needs. Many retirement communities offer not only independent living options, but you’ll also enjoy priority access to a variety of supportive services like assisted living and skilled nursing care if your health care needs should change.

Downsizing Tips for an Easy Transition

Downsizing the home you have lived in for many years is not a project that you can expect to tackle overnight. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to make sound decisions and stay organized throughout the process. As soon as you know downsizing is in your future, start going through the storage spaces in your home and designating which items to bring to your new accommodations. To help with the process, consider grouping your belongings into things you can sell, donate or give to family members and things you can be throw away.

Create lists to keep yourself on schedule. These lists can include everything from tasks you need to complete the move, rooms you still need to sort through and items you need to pack. If possible, get a floor plan of your living space so you’ll have a better idea of what belongings you can realistically bring with you.

Remember, moving is a big chore for even the most able-bodied person, so don’t be afraid to ask family members and friends for assistance.

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