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I write this post from my own perspective as I encounter(ed) this need and desire with my own parents, clients, and now personally, as I start to analyze our empty nester’s challenges, changes, and necessities. I have experienced, alongside my buyers and sellers, our mutual journey into questioning and answering what comes next and how best to get there—with minimal stress. These encounters have shined light on both the positives and negatives of making these modifications—what to embrace and what to avoid.
IT’S A BIG DECISION
Most of us start to sense that it is time for a change as our children have grown, we experience retirement, or become aware of our new found needs. Our old life doesn’t quite fit anymore. Holidays at our children’s homes. Physical changes and trials. Communities once again become important. Slowly our personal ecosystem transforms.
Rightsizing vs. Downsizing: On the surface, the two seem relatively similar ideas. But how you think about this at a certain point in your life can have a profound impact on how comfortable, manageable, and stress-free the next phase of your living plays out. Rightsizing doesn’t mean scaling back necessarily or giving up things you care about. It could mean upgrading your home or changing neighborhoods. Moving closer to your kids. Or nearer to your hobbies. Likewise, the idea of downsizing doesn’t have to be a negative if reduced stress, and a lighter, less burdened life is a desirable goal. At their core, both ideas are about understanding what you need and want, as well as what isn’t necessary or desirable.
Regardless of whether you rightsize or downsize, it’s all about getting older and living longer, but doing it in a way that makes you contented.
ANY KIND OF CHANGE CAN BRING CONFLICTED FEELINGS
After all, how do you define home sweet home moving forward? In the past, it was built on memories, family events, births and deaths, comfort and security, knowledge, and routine. But what was can also mean an increase in hefty bills, annoying repairs and maintenance, and isolation.
Any kind of move means evaluating what you need to do physically, cosmetically, or otherwise to gain the most value when you sell your home. It also means a change in lifestyle, assessing your assets, and monetary considerations—ranging from calculating the value of your present home to understanding what you can or want to afford in the future.
Can you make your existing home conducive to these changes, new technologies, as well as safety? Are you distressed about moving away from friends and the conveniences you know? If necessary, could you live on your own, not just now but in 20 years? Does keeping the family home make good economic sense? Is it still the best option?
Have you discussed this with a REALTOR® who can both help you list and buy with special attention to your particular concerns? An insurance agent who can explain vacancy insurance? A financial planner? A mortgage broker/lender who can talk to you about various options? An estate attorney to ensure that your children are protected?
HOW DO YOU EVEN GET YOUR ARMS AROUND THIS?
As we age, deciding where and when to move can be complex, even daunting. Whether you’re rightsizing or downsizing, here are some first thoughts and questions to think about:
- Do you have unused rooms or wasted space in your home?
- Can you afford to stay in your current home for 5, 10, or 20 more years?
- Is your house and yard easy to maintain?
- Do you feel isolated?
- Do you have too much stuff to manage?
- Do you have equity in your home?
- Are your social interactions lacking now that the kids have gone and you feel more alone?
COZY SEASON IS HERE. HOW CAN I HELP?
To live life to the fullest and age successfully, we must embrace change and keep moving forward. I’ve been writing and speaking, as well as consulting privately on this topic, to spread the word about the value and benefits of making this kind of move and the best kinds of help to enable you to succeed. I want to shed a positive light and new perspective on a life change that is viewed by many as negative, and one to be avoided rather than embraced.
If you are considering rightsizing or downsizing, or in need of a Real Estate Probate Specialist®, I welcome the opportunity to be your personal consultant and advocate. I can also provide many resources if you have the need of various services.
It’s good to know the things and places that make you the most comfortable. They can come in various forms, shapes, and sizes to bring you calm, harmony, or simply, they can slow you and your world down for a bit.
Wishing you all good things!
Image credit: Scott Prior, firstname.lastname@example.org