Retiring is a huge milestone in life. Many dream of the day when they can say goodbye to those long commutes, long hours and long days. They imagine taking vacations, pursuing new hobbies and just having more leisure time. Many who retire will also plan to downsize their living space. Children have grown and moved out and a change in lifestyle are just a couple of reasons why retirees choose to downsize. And while choosing to downsize to a condo or apartment is a practical and often wise option, it can be difficult to swallow for many. Many people find it very hard to let go of the house their children grew up in, the house they invested so much time and money in, and the house where so many memories were made. But, by understanding all the positive results that come with downsizing, one can see that such a change can bring upon a freeing, easier lifestyle. Here are some pros of downsizing to offset those common fears:
1) I will miss my house too much
Yes, you will miss your previous home for many reasons. You made it yours, became very much used to it and the location, and have many memories in that home. However, you will make your new place yours as well, get used to it over time, and make new memories. Not to mention, once you downsize, it is very likely you will not miss the level of maintenance, chores and money that were needed to running your house.
2) I will not be able to fit all my belongings
Yes, with downsizing comes letting go of stuff. But really and truly, how much of the stuff you have collected over the years do you need? In fact, most of what is stored in houses is not even used. The cluttering process may be tearful and agonizing, but you will feel so content and lighter in your new home with your most needed and cherished items. Think of it as editing your belongings and a good edit is just that, good.
3) There will not be enough room for my children and their families to stay overnight
If you have grown children who have moved out and may have started their own families, you are probably hoping to have them over for visits, special occasions, and for extended stays, especially if they live further away. Depending on the size of your condo or apartment, you may not have room for a few or more to stay overnight. But fear not. Consider this: How many times per year do your children plan on spending the night, if at all? If they live out of town, perhaps you can offer to put them up in a nearby hotel with complimentary breakfast and even a pool? You’ll score brownie points with the grandchildren and cut the work for yourself, leaving more time to enjoy in each others company. Plus, we tend to.get couped up in houses, while alternative arrangements gives more reason to plan outdoor activities.
4) I will miss my yard and gardening
Moving to a condo or apartment from a house means letting go of your yard and garden. But if you’re really into gardening, you can find a place with a private balcony when you downsize, and some even have two. And many people grow mini gardens and arrange plants and flowers on their balconies so you can still carry out your favourite hobby. Enjoy barbecuing? Many condo buildings have common areas like a rooftop patio, so you can still enjoy those late summer nights outdoors. Now don’t forget, losing a yard means you are gaining more time and money. Yes, you are saving yourself from lawn mowing, weed wacking, fertilizing, watering, and so on. Something to consider!