After retirement, many people find themselves wondering, “when is the right time to downsize?” The best time will vary from person to person, but downsizing at 55 or after retiring often feels natural.
If spring cleaning has you dreaming of a simpler, more relaxing retirement, these tips will help make the process of downsizing your home enjoyable, stress-free, and exciting.
Research Before You Decide
Before you make a plan for downsizing, it’s important to assess all of your options for downsizing. Common downsizing options include:
- Renting or buying a smaller home
- Moving in with a family member or friend
- Moving into an assisted living community
- Moving into a retirement community
- Nursing home facilities
The best option for you will depend on your goals, preferences, lifestyle, age, and medical requirements. You can create a list of priorities—some must-haves, some deal breakers, and some negotiables—to help guide you on your search.
Research the option that best fits your needs now, but also look into options you may explore later. For example, if you want to live in a retirement community now, but may be interested in assisted living down the line, you’ll want to be aware of assisted living communities in the vicinity of the retirement community you choose.
Make a Downsizing Plan
So, after thorough research, you’ve decided you want to downsize for retirement. What’s the next step?
Successful downsizing starts with a plan. A clear plan helps you stick to your priorities and find a new, downsized home that helps you live simply and happily. It may be helpful to keep a checklist of every room or area of your home you need to clean out. Downsizing is a great opportunity to simplify and reorganize!
What you’ll need to keep and give away depends on the amenities of your new home. Decide what you’ll do with major appliances and furniture—will you need them after downsizing? If not, how will you get rid of them? From there, you can move onto organizing and donating smaller items, like dishes, decor, papers, and even clothing.
Asses Your Finances
Knowing where you stand financially makes downsizing less stressful. Understanding your retirement accounts, retirement savings, and social security benefits are important, along with a clear picture of the current real estate market.
For help assessing your finances, it can be helpful to consult with a professional about your finances and retirement benefits. Even a one-time appointment with an accountant or financial planner can set you up for financial success through downsizing and well into retirement. Pre-retirement, you can also use online retirement calculators to predict your financial standing for the future.
Choosing to Downsize Your Home
How do you know when it’s time to downsize?
Retirees may choose to downsize their homes for a number of different reasons. Maybe you’re empty nesters with too many unused rooms. Maybe you’re overwhelmed by home maintenance, and could spend more time on hobbies and leisure if you had a smaller home. Maybe high mortgage payments no longer make sense for your lifestyle. Maybe you’re traveling often, spending little time in a large home, and want a home that matches your lifestyle change.
There are dozens of highly personal reasons you may want to downsize. At the end of the day, if living in a large home is causing stress, it’s a good idea to consider moving into a smaller home. After all, you’re retired—it’s time to relax! You’ve earned it.
Visit the Campus
If you’ve decided to downsize to a retirement community that interests you and checks all your boxes, it’s time to visit the campus. Reading and researching a community is a great way to understand the basics, but visiting the campus is how you’ll know if it feels like home.
During your tour of the campus, you’ll have the opportunity to check out home options like apartments and single-family homes, campus amenities, activities, and the grounds. Interacting with staff members and other residents should give you a great idea about what it’s like to live in the retirement community.
Do You Like the Amenities?
Once the must-have basics are out of the way and accounted for, amenities can make or break a retirement living community. The right amenities and activities will help you dig into your hobbies and live retirement to the fullest.
Copeland Oaks offers a wide variety of amenities on our scenic campus, so there’s always something to do, whether you’re interested in history, art, nature, food, or fitness:
- Creativity Center
- Woodworking Shop
- TV Station & Studio
- Computer Lab
- Historical Archives Room
- Lounges on each for games and socializing
- Wellness Center
- Aquatic Center
- Fitness Room
- Bass fishing lake
- Walking paths
- Access to hiking trails
- Community garden
- Chapel, worship services, and Bible studies
- Barbershop and Beauty shop
- Gift Shop
- Thrift Shop
- Garages for apartment residents with vehicles
- Transportation to and from local stores and events
- Three distinct on-campus dining options
- Medical centers including a 24/7 clinic and on-site rehab
Amenities make home feel like home, so it’s important to make sure your retirement community offers options that make you excited to move in!
Could This Be Your New Home?
After you visit campus, assess the amenities, and go over technical matters, listen to your gut. If a retirement community checks all your must-haves and you leave your campus visit with a smile on your face, you may have found your new home.
At Copeland Oaks, we offer a vibrant, inviting community, large, picturesque campus, and full range of amenities. Schedule your visit today to see how Copeland Oaks can become home.
You have to see it to appreciate it
We encourage you to visit and meet our residents in person.
To schedule a visit, please call 330-938-6126.