If you’re retired or soon-to-be, chances are you’ve thought about downsizing. In fact, according to this TD Ameritrade Investor Pulse Survey, 42 percent of Americans plan to downsize in retirement. But that leaves a majority of retirees who aren’t planning to downsize; the question is: why not? Common concerns are about being restricted in terms of space and belongings, that a downsized lifestyle is somehow less prestigious, and even hesitancy to change in general. But as you know, perception is not always reality. In fact, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by these truths about downsizing in retirement:
- Increased cash flow – In many areas, the real estate market is hot right now. If your neighborhood is thriving it may be a good time to sell at a profit. In addition, a lower mortgage payment on a new place will also give you a monthly cash boost. Not to mention, you won’t be paying for utilities and taxes on the extra space you’re not using which can save you cash and some frustration.
- Less responsibility, more time – This one is a no-brainer as the less space you have, the less you have to worry about in terms of household chores and home maintenance. This means you have more time to do the things you actually enjoy!
- Better location – Often, retirees look for smaller homes closer to their family, closer to things they like to do, and/or a more desirable climate. In fact, according to that same TD Ameritrade survey, 25 percent of retirees plan on moving to a warmer climate, and 17 percent plan to move closer to family.
Downsizing in Retirement
to Active Adult Retirement Living
Even of those Americans who plan to downsize, most consider simply moving to a smaller place, not necessarily to an active adult retirement living community. Again, it’s a matter of perception that retirement living isn’t for healthy retirees, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality here is that there are many more benefits to downsizing in retirement when the move is to active adult retirement living, including:
- More freedom – Yes, you’d have less responsibility in a smaller home, but there will still be some chores, some upkeep, and the possibility of unexpected repair bills. On the other hand, in active adult retirement living, the maintenance, groundskeeping, housekeeping, pest control, and trash removal are all taken care of for you- not to mention more predictable expenses.
- More fun – Even with more free time, if you live alone in a smaller house it may still be difficult to connect with others and stay as engaged as you’d like. In active adult retirement living, you’ll find a full calendar of events and activities right outside your door.
- A focus on wellness – It’s clear that wellness is a key to healthy aging. Active adult retirement living makes it even easier to achieve with amenities that support all aspects of wellness such as: a fitness center, exercise classes, and spacious grounds with walking trails, as well as nutritious dining plus educational and enrichment programs.
- Location plus convenience – You can certainly apply your location preferences when downsizing to a smaller home, but in active adult retirement living you’ll also enjoy the on-campus conveniences such as concierge services, a hair salon, and even transportation. Not to mention, communities are often located near shopping, dining, entertainment, and daily services like banking, for example.
- Peace of mind – Retirement living offers several types of care, often on the same campus. So, while active adult retirement living is a great fit for healthy, active retirees, should your health needs evolve over time you can enjoy added peace of mind that extra support is available.