Downsizing Your House in your 60s
Our 60s is when we really start to think about downsizing even if we don’t do it til we reach our 70’s. When it becomes apparent we are spending money every month to maintain the home, when in actuality we only use a few rooms.
What is Downsizing?
What does downsizing really mean. Is it rightsizing or down sizing? Are they the same? These terms may sound similar and in truth they are a bit. Yet downsizing takes on the notion of going smaller. Rightsizing is living in a home that meets your current needs, which can be bigger or smaller.
I can’t tell you how many older people I talk with who are concerned with how long they will be able to climb the stairs to go to bed. Because their house is paid for, they are reluctant to buy another home. And of course, people here in the East Bay, ask “where would I move to? If I sell my home and stay in this area, the costs to purchase are too high now.Yet others are more than eager to move to smaller digs.
Benefits of Downsizing
- It is freeing
- Less stuff around the house
- Smaller yards
- Less space to clean
- Less utility bills
- Less expensive to maintain
You may have to take small steps if you are coming from a larger home. I recently spoke with a woman at a luncheon who moved from a tri-level home to a one story condo. While she was fine with it, her husband was not happy. He actually became depressed over the limited space in the house. In retrospect, she said perhaps they should have moved in increments. No worries, all is well and they have both adjusted.
In addition to the square feet of a home, think about how many times you used your formal dining room or for that matter the living room. Today most folks spend most of their time in the kitchen and family room. An open concept can actually make the home seem larger than cordoned off individual rooms.
What About My Stuff
Okay now what about all the stuff you have in your current home. You might want to evaluate when was the last time you used it. It’s like cleaning out a closet, if I haven’t worn it in two years, it’s gone. I know at some point we will be downsizing and I have cabinets of platters, dishes, decorations that are not going with me, because I don’t need them or rarely use them. Today’s living is more casual.
When was the last time you used the china or the crystal glassware or how often is it used? Maybe this is something you want to give your children now, perhaps they will use it (or not). It has been said that the Baby Boomers were the age group that collected so much more than any other generation. You can always donate to families that would appreciate it.
You Could be Using Your Equity Now
Here’s another thought. If you live in the Bay area, then we are all aware of how much our homes have appreciated. Therefore, if you are moving out of the area, which many have, you have a lot of money tied up in your home. Many folks are selling their Bay area homes, buying lesser priced homes either in different part of California or out of State and using the equity to travel, provide enough financial security for peace of mind or anything else that meets their fancy.
Downsizing may not be for everyone, yet situations change, something to think about perhaps.