Downsizing — The First Step in Your Retirement Journey

The benefits of trading down and where to do

Retirement is a time we all look forward to reaching. No more punching a clock day-in and day-out, plenty of time to spend pursuing hobbies and interests, opportunities to explore nature — on many different levels, retirement is finally our chance to live the dream.

Of course, it can be hard to enjoy your retirement properly if you’re weighed down by baggage from your working life. In fact, your biggest liability might be the very place you lay your head each night. That’s precisely why so many retirees choose to downsize their living arrangements, in order to make more room for themselves in their new life. Here’s why downsizing is often the first step in your journey through retirement.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Let’s be honest. A big, rambling house might have been just the thing while you were working and perhaps raising a family, but once the kids have grown and have started families of their own, that empty nest of yours can feel unnecessarily cavernous. Suddenly you’ve got more space than you know what to do with it (and more importantly, that you have to clean and maintain).

Spending time and energy dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, power washing the siding, working on repairs and otherwise maintaining a large home for just you and your spouse, or partner is flat out exhausting.

And then there’s the financial strain a big house can cause. Property taxes, utility bills, landscaping fees if you understandably don’t want to do all that lawn care yourself — these are all obviously much higher with a large home than with a smaller one. Such expenses can be a drain on your retirement income, possibly resulting in truncating your ability to enjoy your retirement otherwise by reducing the amount of available funds you have that would have otherwise gone to spending money on things you want to do instead of things you have to do. Is it any wonder how many retirees decide that it’s time to free up that income with more modest and affordable housing?