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Are you ready to say goodbye to the family home? Do the drawbacks of living in a big house outweigh the advantages? To what extent do you really enjoy living there – and to what extent are those feelings tied up in nostalgia?
These are challenging questions to ask oneself, but self-investigation is necessary when making a big life choice like downsizing. If you have a partner, it may be worthwhile talking with them about taking the plunge. And if you have kids, it can be a good idea to get their opinions on the matter as well.
In these discussions, it’s worthwhile to have signs you can point to – indications that you are ready to leave the old house and move into a downsized home. Here are five signs that it’s time to take the plunge.
Housework Is Becoming Unmanageable
Is the attic gathering dust faster than you can clean it? Are the weeds in the garden growing faster than you can pluck them? And does the laundry list of weekly house maintenance tasks detract from your other retirement plans – namely, socializing, travelling and relaxing.
If you find that the housework is becoming overwhelming or unmanageable, it may be time to downsize your home. A smaller home requires less maintenance, leaving you time for the stuff that matters in life.
All That Living Space Is Now Filled with Clutter
It used to be the kid’s room, but now it houses boxes of old items – some of them meaningful, some insignificant. If your living spaces now primarily serve as storage spaces, you should reconsider if you need them.
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It might be worthwhile consulting with a senior downsizing service to declutter your home. One of the benefits of using a downsizing service is that they help you sift through this lifetime of items to see what you want to keep, and what you are comfortable selling, donating or throwing away. This process helps lighten the load, alleviating the stress that comes along with too much clutter. Downsizing services can also coordinate your move – booking trucks, securing supplies, packing and unpacking.
Housing Expenses Account for Too Much in the Budget
You’ve probably heard of the “30% percent rule,” which dictates that people should spend 30% (or less) of their gross income on housing. It’s an old axiom, but many financial experts still recommend it as a helpful benchmark.
If you currently spend more than 30% of your monthly budget on housing expenses, downsizing may prove to be a shrewd financial move. It can free up money for more important things, like healthcare needs, travelling and gifts for the grandkids.
You Feel Disconnected from Community and Family
Lastly, a common reason why older adults downsize is to be closer to family or community. If your old home feels disconnected from people your own age, or far from your kids, you may start feeling isolated.
Moving into a community of older adults – a retirement townhouse community or apartment building – can be a great way to make friends as you age. And you can choose one close to your kids for plenty of enriching family time.
Take some time to talk it over with the people close to you, weighing the pros and cons. If you see yourself in any of the points listed above, it may be time to embark on the next chapter in your life.