Your children are grown with children of their own. You’re approaching (or have already reached) retirement age. Your life has changed, and yet, you still live in the same home you’ve lived in for decades.
So is it time to downsize?
For aging adults, the decision to downsize to a new home or age in place can be a difficult one to make.
If you’re getting ready to retire and considering making a move, keep reading. Here’s how to decide if it’s time to move to a retirement community.
Think About Your Health
Unfortunately, health becomes an important factor in every older adult’s life. If you’re suffering from a significant illness or having issues with mobility, the time to downsize is now.
Maybe you’re just starting to feel the general aches and pains that come with age. That’s to be expected. But it can be an eye-opener that makes you start to think about your long-term living situation.
Think about your current home and ask yourself if you will be able to manage the upkeep if you decide to age in place.
Are you able to climb the stairs? Are you steady enough on your feet to climb a stepladder and change a lightbulb? Can you handle everyday tasks like mopping the floors and mowing the lawn?
Downsizing means different things for different people. Some may simply want to move to a smaller apartment. Some may want to move to an over 55+ community with fewer stairs and less upkeep. Others may need to move to a facility that has on-site medical staff.
Overall, the status of your health will likely play a big role in whether you stay in your current home or decide to move.
Think About What’s Most Important to You
As you near retirement age, you start to think about all the things you want to do in your free time.
Maybe your lifelong dream has been to travel the world. Perhaps you’re sick of shoveling snow and you’re ready to live near the beach. Maybe your idea of a great day is lounging by the pool or playing golf.
By definition, downsizing means to make something smaller (like your home or your budget). By doing that, it also becomes a great opportunity to spend your retirement doing the things you love to do.
Think About Your Finances
Finances play a major part in almost every decision, and moving is no exception. For some people, downsizing is a necessity for medical reasons. For others, it’s a way to free up some money to spend on other things.
If you’re on a fixed income, selling your home can be a great way to put a substantial chunk of money into your bank account. However, you’ll still probably need to use that money to pay for rent or purchase another property.
But as all homeowners know, a mortgage isn’t the only burden of owning a home. Appliances break, pipes leak, and roofs and sidewalks need repairing. If your home requires repairs that you can’t afford or don’t want to make, it may be time to downsize and move.
Think About Your Safety and Security
Safety should be a top priority for everyone, regardless of age or circumstance. One way to know if you’re ready to move to a retirement community is to consider how safe and secure you feel in your current home.
When we talk about safety, we’re referring to two different things: neighborhood safety and in-home security.
Neighborhoods can change over the years — and sometimes not for the better. If you don’t feel safe walking around the neighborhood or sitting on your front porch on a nice day, it’s time to move.
In-home security is also something to consider, especially if you have physical challenges. If the stairs are too steep for you to climb or the bathtub is too hard to step into, it’s time to downsize and move elsewhere.
Think About Your Future
As you approach retirement age, you’ll be faced with one incredibly important question:
Do I have enough money to sustain me for the rest of my years?
Let’s say you’re 67 and have enough savings to sustain your current lifestyle for the next 20 years. That’s great, but what will happen if you live to be 97? Do you have the means to support yourself for an extra ten years?
Downsizing is not a guarantee that you’ll profit from the sale of your home. But in most cases, the smaller the place, the less you’ll have to pay in monthly utilities, such as electricity, heat, and air conditioning.
If you can cut your monthly expenses by just $200 per month, you’ll save an extra $24,000 over the next ten years.
If you choose to stay in your current home, be aware that your health might deteriorate and that you may not be as physically able in the years to come. And when that happens, you’ll want to make sure you have someone nearby that will be willing and able to help you with small tasks around the house.
Downsizing and moving to a retirement community, on the other hand, may afford you the option to pay for additional care or in-home help when needed.
Should you downsize and move into a retirement community or stay in your home and age in place?
Before you make your decision, it’s important to think about your:
Weigh your options and don’t feel pressured to make an immediate decision. After all, if downsizing doesn’t seem like the right move to make right now, you can always change your mind in a year or two.
Located in the downtown core of Tukwila, Marvelle at South Center sits in the heart of the Tukwila Urban Center and transit-oriented development area. The urban location offers residents convenient access to nearby restaurants, shopping malls, and medical facilities.