The average Social Security check is about $1,555 a month in 2021, according to Social Security. This may be the only source of income for many retired seniors, while others may have retirement savings. If you are officially in retirement and looking for ways to save money or make a lifestyle change, downsizing might be something you want to consider. Although there are many reasons why you should downsize after retirement, here are six specific reasons.
Pay less in bills
Downsizing your home can reduce your bills, and therefore, you will have more money in your pocket. You would no longer need to heat or air condition a large house. If you live in an area where these bills can be expensive and add up each month, then downsizing may be the right move for you in retirement.
With more money in your pocket, you can spend it on more important things such as your Medicare insurance premiums which can increase each year, car payments, gas, or groceries. Saving money can ease your stress.
A larger home could mean a higher risk of injury or strain
Your larger home may have one or several sets of stairs, which can be dangerous as you get older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about three million older adults go to an emergency room for treatment because of an injury from falling. If you are the type of person who likes to clean the inside of their house and put things away, you can put yourself at risk of falling, especially if you have your hands full.
There may even be high ceilings that require you to use a ladder to change the light bulbs or clean the ceiling fan. If you are reaching far to clean or change the light bulb, you risk straining yourself or even falling. You can decrease the risk of causing an injury or straining your body by downsizing to a home that does not require this kind of work to be done.
It forces you to get rid of unnecessary belongings
If you feel that you have many unnecessary items, downsizing is the perfect time to go through those belongings. You may find several boxes that have not been opened in months. When you go through your belongings, there may be some things you have been looking for, or you may find it easy to put them in a pile and get rid of them.
When you purchase a new home that you know is smaller than your current one, you know you only have so much storage for your belongings. Downsizing means it is time to make a change and package up belongings that you no longer need.
House and yard can be too much upkeep
A large yard or house or both can require a lot of upkeep. If you live on a few acres or more, then you know it can take time and effort to keep your yard under control and appealing. This could mean you are mowing the lawn for hours on a Sunday. Not only the yard, but if you live in a place that has severe winters and snow, then shoveling can be a requirement. Shoveling in the snow on ice can be dangerous, especially for seniors who are more susceptible to injuries.
The inside and outside of the house are another part of the upkeep. A larger home requires more dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming in addition to a larger roof that might need to be redone every so often. You may consider outsourcing this kind of work, but that also means more money that you are spending.
If you downsize your home and yard, you won’t have to worry about the upkeep as much.
More time for yourself
You will have more time for yourself when you don’t have to worry about putting the time in for chores or spending money on outsourcing or bills. You can spend that additional time with family and friends, at a part-time job, or joining a class or club. You would also have more money you can put towards vacations, other essential bills, or investing.
Minimalize the space you don’t need
You may live by yourself or with another person, but you have three additional rooms that are not occupied or used. Now that you are in retirement, you may not need the office room you dedicated to your job. You no longer need the additional guest rooms and all the furniture in them. So, if you find that you leave the doors closed in multiple rooms because they are not being used, then it might be time to downsize and find a home that better fits your needs and living situation. This kind of transition can help you become a minimalist and only live within your means.
Downsizing can be a significant new phase in your life once you enter retirement. If you are looking for or need a change in your life, you may consider downsizing your home. You can save money, time, and effort by moving into a smaller home.