Below are five tips for rightsizing your home, getting a fresh start someplace new, or a new chapter in your current home.
- Aim for a Simpler Life. Relationships and experiences are fare more important than materials objects.Rightsizing is liberating and makes you feel in control.
- Make a Plan – Sort Rooms One at a Time. If you don’t you will be overwhelmed and freeze. Organize each space with piles of gifts, keep, repurpose/donate, and discard.
- Gift Meaningful Items to Loved Ones. Enjoy their enjoyment now rather then in the future.
- Digitize Photos and Artwork. Digital files take up much less space than physical photos. Uploading photos onto a flash drive is easiest. This way, you can plug the flash drive into your computer or digital picture frame to enjoy the photos at any time.
- Focus On Personalization and Low Maintenance.Your goal is to have a home that is low maintenance and will accommodate your long-term needs – physically and financially.
My wife retired a year ago and we are adjusting to this new chapter of life. Everyone has suggestions, ideas, and paths that we should follow. Embedded in all the support and advice, there has been a lot of fake news; but there are a few real truths that everyone should consider.
- Stay in your home, move, rent or buy? According to a 2016 Freddie Mac survey of boomers, most those 55 and older plan to stay in their homes during retirement. For those planning on moving, one in five say they will sell their home and buy a new one. One in 10 say they will sell their home and rent when they move. Data from TenantCloud, a property management software service, shows that nearly one-third of all urban applications are for renters over age 60.
- Boomers are not moving when they become empty nesters. This is one of the reasons the housing market is so tight. The tradition of waiting for kids to move out and putting the big family house up for sale doesn’t appear to be happening nearly as often nowadays. A leading economist has said a contributing factor to fewer homes on the market is more baby boomers are staying put in their “home sweet home,” rather than downsizing.
- Boomers aging in place or downsizing are discovering their grown children do not want a lot of their stuff. Many of those seniors are turning to professional help to help them move. When it comes time to move, many boomers have to deal with four decades of memories and stuff, many material things their children either didn’t need nor have room for. So they face a house full of furniture and housewares and knickknacks.
- Many Baby Boomers are willing to give up homeownership entirely. Recent studies showed 47% would consider selling their home and renting an apartment. Americans remain quite hopeful and are willing to consider a wide range of course corrections in order to enjoy a secure retirement.
While the debate continues and decisions are being made, changed, and made anew, the one fact that should be at the top of a To Do List is planning ahead. The best decisions stem from discussion with spouse, family, friends when there is no emergency. Pre-planning and careful consideration of health, wealth, and lifestyle choices in the future provides a solid foundation for the next chapter in your life.