Practical Tips for Downsizing after Retirement

For most individuals, images of retirement tend to involve world travel, spending copious amounts of time with grandkids or other family members or even being able to enter gardening contests all year round. However, one of the best ways to ensure that you’ll be able to make the most of your golden years is to downsize various aspects of your life once you stop working. The advice below will not only help you to lessen your current responsibilities; it can help stretch your retirement funds as much as possible at the same time. 


Think about Moving House

Many individuals who have had kids still live in fairly large homes – even after the youngest may have flown the coop. This means that you may be spending more on property taxes, utility bills and general maintenance than you need to, which will in turn erode your retirement funds. Moving to a smaller house, apartment or condo will not only enable you to save a lot of money over the long term; it will also enable you to enjoy more free time because of having far less maintenance and cleaning to deal with.


Don’t be Too Extreme

While most individuals usually need to downsize their homes once they’ve stopped working, it’s important to not be too extreme. For instance, if you’ve lived in a 2,500 sq. ft. home, chances are that you won’t be happy resorting to tiny house living (think 600 sq. ft. or less). When downsizing, you should also take your interests and hobbies and those of your spouse into account so that each of you will still have enough space to enjoy these activities without getting underfoot of each other. 


Assess your Current forms of Transportation

While still employed, many couples find that differing work schedules render it absolutely necessary to each own a vehicle. Once retired though, you and your spouse may no longer need to pay for repairs and maintenance on two vehicles because your schedules will be far less stressful. Selling your second vehicle will not only reduce your monthly maintenance bill; you will be able to reduce the burden of additional vehicle payments as well.


Don’t Cut Friends and Family Off

Although it’s usually necessary to downsize after you retire, there’s no need to always move out of town or cross-country. Many retirees find that they can even relocate within their current neighborhood or relatively close to it, enabling to keep in easy contact with close friends and family. Relocating to a smaller property in your neighborhood also means that you won’t have to give up any regular activities you might be taking part in, such as gym classes, book clubs and other community events.

If you plan accordingly, you and your spouse won’t need to be living miserably in a tiny, cramped apartment. In fact, many retirees who have downsized in a practical way have said that it has allowed them to take advantage of some of the best years of their lives. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about practical retirement planning.