There are probably as many reasons to downsize (or right size) as there are people in the world, but I definitely hear some reasons over and over. Do any of these resonate with you?
10. Tired of yard work – Many people enjoy working in the yard when they are first-time home buyers, but the thrill gradually wears off for many people. By the time you’ve been a homeowner for many years, it’s just one more chore on your list, and you’re often paying a landscaping company to do it.
9. Master bedroom on the first floor – Not everyone is ready to actually live in a smaller home, but most people are ready to no longer have to climb stairs multiple times a day, to get to their bedroom or a bathroom.
8. Want to be able to walk places – Many people move to the suburbs for better schools for their children or big yards. Once the kids are gone, though, they decide to move where they can walk to shops, restaurants, and other fun things. This is a nationwide trend for all ages, but it seems to be especially big for baby boomers who are empty nesters.
7. Don’t want so much house to care for – There’s much more cleaning to be done in a larger home. You’re also paying higher utility bills to heat and cool areas of the home you no longer use.
6. Be closer to family – In our mobile society, adult children often move far from their parents. If parents are retired, it is often easier for them to move to where their children are then vice versa.
5. Move somewhere warmer – Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia certainly don’t have the terrible winters that some places in our country do, but it can still be grey and cold for long stretches. Plus sometimes we even have major snowfalls! If you’re retired and can live anywhere you choose, you might want to live somewhere warmer.
4. Live in a vacation destination – Beaches, mountains, tropical islands, Europe. The possibilities are endless. If you choose to move to a vacation destination, you not only get to enjoy it year round, but you are virtually assured that lots of friends and family will want to come and visit you!
3. Feeling lonely and bored – Staying in the home you’ve lived in forever can be isolating if you don’t have an active social life nearby. Moving to 55+ housing or a senior living community can really improve your quality of life. There are lots of activities to choose from everyday and lots of people around who are eager to make friends just like you.
2. Boost your retirement fund – If you’ve owned your home for more than 15 years, chances are it’s gone up in value substantially. By selling your home and downsizing into something less expensive, you’ve likely freed up a large chunk of money to add to your retirement fund. And that’s never a bad thing. Don’t forget that the money you make from selling your home is free from capital gains taxes for up to $250,000 for a single person and up to $500,000 for a married couple.
1. Lower taxes – Many retired people choose to move to places like Delaware and Florida for the lower taxes as much as for the beaches and lifestyle. Sales tax, property tax, income tax, and even the estate tax are lower or nonexistent. This is a way that many people are able to stretch their retirement income.
What other reasons did you decide to downsize or right size? Feel free to share in the comments section below.
If downsizing makes sense to you but you’re not doing it, ask yourself why. If it’s because the idea of moving just feels overwhelming, get in touch with me. I can help you come up with a plan for selling your home and moving that will make things more manageable, and I can bring in other service providers to help you handle the details of moving that seem too hard to tackle alone. If you don’t live in the DC area, I can put you in touch with a realtor that specializes in this in your area.