How and when to downsize
The dream of a family, a large home, and a grand life has long been a common one. But eventually the children start their own families and find their own homes, leaving one of the nation’s most affluent generations pondering the benefits of downsizing.
According to the AARP, one in three Americans is now 50 or older, and by 2030 one in five people will be over the age of 65. The generation of Baby Boomers led full lives, and by letting go of some of the excess, or superfluous space and belongings, they can continue to live a full life for years to come.
One of the many benefits of downsizing is a substantial decrease in living expenses. Whether moving to an assisted living community, condo, or smaller home, mortgages and rents can be noticeably less. Utilities, property taxes, and general upkeep can also drop significantly.
The main downfall to downsizing is an emotional one. It’s okay to have difficulty letting go of a lifetime of belongings. It’s even more okay to talk to a therapist or counselor about these challenges. Having trouble moving on to the next phase of life is common and there are people prepared to help you through it.
Another way to ease the arduous task of letting go is hiring a professional. The inevitable boon of Baby Boomers downsizing has launched the profession of “downsizing consultants.” Businesses specializing in estate sales have also taken off.
One of the most important parts of downsizing is to do it before you have to. Don’t wait until a spouse passes away or a forced retirement creates an unexpected financial burden. It’s a seller’s market, so if you’re thinking of moving on to bluer waters, now may be the time to start creating a plan for the future.