Downsizing makes sense for many senior citizens, and there are a variety of benefits that come with choosing to do so.
Firstly, what are the options for seniors looking to downsize? Buying a smaller home, condominium or townhome often make sense for the elderly. It’s almost always more lucrative from a financial standpoint to consolidate your space. However, seniors do also have the option of retirement homes or communities. In this case, seniors can live with like minded individuals who are in a similar stage of life. If health concerns are an issue, retirement communities can often be ideal as they have trained professionals ready to assist.
Why do seniors downsize? Generally speaking, elderly individuals find they have more space than is necessary as they reach a certain point in life. The amount of home you need usually shifts depending on your needs, and our needs change over time. Many adult children of the elderly live in their own spaces, and furthermore seniors may find the extra amount of house no longer necessary.
What are the benefits of downsizing? Let’s now analyze the benefit of downsizing by category. The three main benefits are we’ll discuss are financial returns, health incentives and extra time for more leisurely activities.
- Financially speaking, downsizing makes sense. It’s no secret that the larger and more elaborate your home, the more money you will have to funnel into its upkeep. Senior citizens may find their finances have become slightly more restrictive after retirement, as is the norm. Not only will you make money off of the sale of your home, but downsizing often involves the sale of your furniture. This a good opportunity to make a hefty chunk of change from an estate or yard sale. Additionally, smaller homes are usually less costly when it comes to heating, cooling, and powering. Utilities will almost always be cheaper.
- Health issues can be stressful for seniors as they age. Living in a multi-story, family home, is not always practical for elderly individuals who have major health issues. Poor health often causes enough stress as is, without having to worry about the upkeep of a larger home. Not to mention, those with health issues, particularly as it pertains to mobility, may find moving around comfortably in their home to be increasingly more difficult. A smaller space will greatly benefit an elderly person who is struggling with getting around. A one-story home is a great way to minimize mobility related stress. If your health issues require round the clock care, retirement homes can benefit the elderly greatly, as they provide a safe environment should senior’s need assistance.
- The money you save on your home can be channeled into more leisurely activities. Downsizing can allow for more time to focus on leisurely activities and hobbies. For many, retirement opens up the opportunity to indulge in travel. If you choose to downsize, the money you save can be channeled into travel, hobbies, and more time for enjoyment. The money you would spend to help maintain a property, can be turned into fun money.
If you’re worried about the emotional aspect of downsizing, that is normal and to be expected. Although downsizing can mark the beginning of a new chapter, it can still be bittersweet for many senior citizens. Our homes serve as reminders of memories, and over time we create strong emotional bonds to our spaces. It is normal to be hesitant about leaving a home especially in trade for the unknown. Take care of yourself during this time, and don’t be afraid to reach out for support.
Lastly, take your time and do the research to decide the best option moving forward. Once you decided to downsize, take your time with the process. Find a new home or living space that makes sense for you needs, and allow yourself to try on a few different options.