When is the best time to downsize your life? How do you know when the time is right? For some people, the idea of downsizing their homes never quite crosses their minds. Others can’t wait until it’s time to downsize and would rather do it sooner than later, in order to simplify. Each family, couple, or individual has their own timeline on when they may be ready for such a huge change in life. Just like personalities, each person is so different, making it impossible to nail down an exact time in life to downsize and simply. There are, however, some signs to look for that provide clues as to whether or not the time is right.
Downsizing for Retirement
The most common time in life when people start thinking about downsizing is upon retirement. One way to stretch out savings and pensions, and decrease monthly expenses is to downsize their homes. The savings are found in decreased property taxes, mortgage payments, and home insurance costs. The smaller the dwelling, the less payments become.
For retirees, the benefits may not seem too significant at first, but over the course of time, meaningful differences can be realized. Some people may not realize that although it may seem overwhelming at first to move from a possibly paid off house to a condominium or rental with monthly payments may not be worth their time and energy. This, however, can be a huge misconception. In a house, however, the expenses are potentially hidden because they are considered maintenance, wear and tear, and simply a part of owning a house. This hidden costs are eliminated with condominiums because it is the homeowners’ association that will take care of them. The condominium owner does not have to worry about dysfunctional boilers, landscaping, and roof repair.
Downsizing for Your Empty Nest
Another time in life to consider downsizing is when parents become empty nesters. Once children become adults and move out of their parents homes, the extra space is often left unused. Although it can be difficult to move because the “kids” still need a home to visit, the benefits to downsizing can outweigh the emotional ties to the house. Moving may also be geographically beneficial, especially if the adult children and grandchildren have moved away.
When adult children move out of their parents’ homes, their rooms can remain unused or become becomes a potential room to store hoarded items. Unused rooms or ones used for storage purposes cost money to maintain. Downsizing to a smaller home or condominium will help prevent unnecessary expenses and decrease the amount of energy needed to maintain the home. In some homes, these rooms may also remain heated in the winter or air-conditioned in the summer, even though nobody uses them.
Downsize for Added Revenue
Some people do not realize that when they downsize, they actually can make some money, especially if their house is either paid off or close to being paid off. Depending on the location of the home and what the market bears in that particular community, money can be made when the home is sold. The new, smaller home or condo will cost less than the home, resulting in the downsizers walking away with cash in their pockets. For more information about the difference in home costs, there is great info at Mann Countrywide.
The cash made from downsizing can be invested or simply consumed. This flexibility gives people many options, making it worthwhile to consider. Being able to make money on the sale of the home can help people become less stressed and free, as financial issues often will create a feeling of overwhelm for some.
Downsize Sooner Rather Than Later
Rather than waiting until much later in life, it is important for people to have recurring thoughts about whether or not it is time to downsize. Each situation brings up different pros and cons, so there is not a standard time to make the move. Each individual or couple will have to decide that time for themselves, however, the sooner downsizing happens, the better.
Downsizing sooner than later is beneficial, especially for couples. It is best when the move happens before one spouse passes away or develops health issues. Moving as a couple is less overwhelming and easier when it can be done together. This allows for new memories to be created in the downsized home.