Ah, retirement. Finally, time spent permanently away from work! Now is the time to live your life to the fullest. Pursue all those interests and hobbies you never could because there was no time! Spoil your grandkids as they deserve! Travel the world and go on adventures like you always wanted to! Your days of punching that time clock are over – now you can live the dream life you always wanted.
You’ve worked hard to reach retirement age, and that means you need to really enjoy it properly, which is why it’s so important to make sure nothing’s holding you back. Dealing with baggage left over from your working life can really put a damper on things. The biggest problem you might face, surprisingly enough, is where you call home! In fact, that’s why so many retirees choose to downsize as the first step in unleashing themselves from their former life. Here’s how downsizing can help you live a more active and healthy social life.
Bigger Isn’t Always So Great
It’s time for some honesty. A big family house might have been great a few decades ago when you were raising your own kids and working full time. But now that you’ve got an empty nest, most of that big home is likely sitting empty. That’s a lot of space to keep clean, not to mention heat and cool. Plus, making sure that a big property is maintained is a major hassle. From landscaping and trash removal to utilities and even property taxes, your beloved family home may begin to feel more like a money pit, and that’s before you learn you need a new roof or water heater.
All of this is a drain on your time and your retirement income, causing you to spend energy and resources on keeping up that large home unnecessarily. Meanwhile, think about how much time and money you would save if you sold it and moved into a smaller, more modest one that didn’t require nearly as much upkeep. Think about how many more opportunities you would have because you’re not spending hours cleaning a giant house or using your savings for maintenance. This is exactly why so many retirees decide that, despite fond memories, their old home has to go.
Give Your Savings a Shot in the Arm
There are more financially-backed reasons to get rid of your own home. Besides getting out from under the weight of a large house that needs constant maintenance, there’s the equity component as well. Most retirees either own their homes outright or are very close to paying off their mortgage completely. This results in their homes having lots of equity stored up – and that equity translates to a major boon to your retirement savings if you put that property up for sale.
In fact, you can often completely finance a smaller home with the proceeds of the sale of your existing property. Moving to an apartment home, a semi-detached home, or a cottage at a retirement community with the perfect amount of space for you is also likely to leave quite a bit left over afterward, which means that you’ll still be providing a nice boost in the arm to your retirement savings. Imagine the feeling of paying cash for your new home and still having tens of thousands – or even hundreds of thousands – left over to pour into your retirement account. Feels good, doesn’t it?
Retirement Communities: Built-In Social Lives
As we mentioned above, some of the best, most affordable places to live for retirees come in the form of retirement communities. These come in multiple varieties; a continuing care retirement community may resemble a typical neighborhood, for example, while an independent living community might provide a luxurious apartment. Meanwhile, other types of retirement communities such as assisted living provide additional needs. The main point is that any quality retirement community will offer you socialization opportunities you certainly wouldn’t get if you were aging in place!
The best retirement communities often feel like a resort, with an astonishing array of amenities available to residents as part of membership. We’re talking about a nearly inexhaustible collection of indoor and outdoor activities. These can range from walking trails, gardening areas, horseshoe and shuffleboard courts, picnic spots, indoor or outdoor pools, fitness centers, arts and crafts studios, libraries with reading rooms, clubhouses with billiards and game rooms, fine dining opportunities, and performing arts centers, to name a few. All of these activities and amenities offer retirees fantastic opportunities to pursue hobbies or stay fit and active, all while chatting and socializing.
Worried about the process of organizing and decluttering your home? Click here to learn how to stay sane while downsizing your home for retirement.
Opening the Door to the Best Retirement Experience
Everyone loves the idea of retirement, but not everyone might enjoy the idea of giving up their ancestral home and moving to a smaller place. Yet the reality is that clinging to that old home and aging in place can be an isolating experience and one that can end up costing you valuable resources that you could otherwise spend on enjoying your retirement. It’s time to let go of that white elephant and move to greener pastures, ones where you have the opportunities to enjoy your life, participate in activities you’ve always wanted to do, and socialize with other people around you who have also traveled the same path to get to where you are.
Are you convinced yet? Don’t worry, you don’t have to take our word for it. Contact your local financial adviser today and ask them about the best ways to save money during retirement. They’ll tell you that downsizing is a great idea – and not only because it provides you extra resources you can put towards your retirement savings!
In these uncertain times, Acts Retirement-Life Communities is here to help. For more information on retirement or how to plan your next chapter in a recession, read these articles by Acts Retirement-Life Communities: