Isn’t the cycle of life just perfectly ironical? Couples often start life in a tiny house and constantly upgrade to the castles that eventually hosts the kids they have. And with great luck, they get to raise a beautiful family in this mortgage free haven. But as you grow older, and hit that golden retirement age, you hardly find the need for multi-bedroom house. That’s right, we go back to the beginning, where utility and maintenance costs are inherently lower! So this is the perfect time to assess what is important in your life, prioritizing and downsizing. Downsizing, in this case, doesn’t necessarily mean moving to a smaller house, but also learning the art of traveling light. This does not only help improve your retirement finances, but also to clear out some of the junk you probably haven’t used in years. Therefore, here comes the not so million dollar question, can you live with just 200 items?
Useful Or Beautiful, The Challenge Begins
If you are looking out to save some cash in the process you might need to sit down and re-evaluate some of the numbers, compare them with what the scenario would be in a smaller house. How much might you save? Be sure to keep factors such as the location you are moving to, as moving to a smaller house in the city might still be more expensive than living in the same neighborhood.
Take an inventory of what you own. Quite literally make a list of things you own, and for sure once you’re done visiting the garage, you will be shocked at how much stuff you have gathered over the years. Despite the fact, you might spot an item that you haven’t used in over 20 years, getting rid of it will be a definite challenge. To simplify the decluttering process, categorize into ‘sell’, ‘giveaway’ and ‘trash’. This process doesn’t have to be lonely, invite some people over, place out some fine wine and cheese and there you go, you have a party!
Be sure to calculate the costs of selling and buying, as sometimes, downsizing doesn’t always mean lower costs. A sketch of how you use your space can provide perfect guidelines for your future lifestyle. Are you a constant host, do you often entertain? Do your kids and or grand kids visit often? These are some of the questions you need to figure out.
As we grow older, our movements become more unsteady. So a multi-story house is not really the best option. For those who don’t want to move from their current multi-storied home, consider updating your downstairs level and even perhaps moving to a downstairs bedroom. An additional stair rail and carpets will make it a lot easier to navigate around. Additional external lights will give off a cool vibe, keep you funky even in retirement.
Depending on where you live, a free flowing lifestyle and use of natural lighting will create a lovely environment for relaxation. Isn’t that the basic point of retirement?