With retirement looming, kids off to college, and friends making plans for their later life, it may be time to start thinking seriously about the years ahead. One of the most significant decisions people have to make as they near retirement age is whether they should downsize. Moving to a smaller home can release money and increase cash flow to enable you to enjoy retirement in comfort. Here’s how you can take those first steps to downsize your property.
Decide What You Need
When planning a downsize, you’ll have several things to think about besides selling your home. You might want to be nearer to your family members, or there may be a favorite place you want to spend more time around. Don’t forget to think about facilities near you and plan for five to ten years ahead. While you may enjoy a good level of fitness now, should you fall ill, would that remote cabin be such a good idea? Having shops and other amenities within walking distance of your home is also practical. For some people, being part of a retirement community is a positive choice, while others decide on a smaller apartment within a city or town.
Budget for Your New Life
Once you have a retirement plan to downsize, start budgeting how much you’ll need to get by. This should include money to enjoy your interests, such as travel, as well as maintaining your daily lifestyle. You may need some help to do this initially, but it is worth planning out the money you will need for retirement to see the potential for downsizing and the choices you have. While it is important to budget, it is also vital to ensure you don’t overstretch your finances and become unable to afford unexpected bills, emergencies, or even vacations.
Start Clearing Your Closet
Once you have a plan, you may need to start clearing out any clutter and unwanted items. Think about regifting items you have enjoyed but no longer require to family and friends. Have a yard sale with unwanted things, or start selling items online to raise some extra cash. Use Goodwill or your local thrift store to offload anything no longer of any use. Once you have had a good clear-out, you’ll get an idea of the space you no longer require, your home will be more appealing to buyers, and you’ll have less clutter to pack for your eventual move. This is also one way to create more retirement income and savings.
Search for Your Smaller Home
If you know the general area you would like to move to, you can start looking for a place to live. As well as the property, you’ll need to check out local facilities and think about the conditions in winter when it may be more challenging to get around. Check out all of the transportation options available. If there is none, ask yourself how you will get around if you need to stop driving? Are there a lot of steps to your new home? How will this work if you ever became less mobile and were less able to manage? You are probably fit and healthy right now, but old age creeps up on everyone, and factoring in these issues will avoid more moving later.
Once you have that perfect apartment, condo, townhome, or house, you’ll need to plan the date and start getting ready to settle into both a new area and lifestyle.
Have questions about whether downsizing may be a part of your retirement decision or need help with your financial plan? We’re here to help! Simply click here or call (763) 445-2772 to schedule a complimentary consultation today!