No matter which way you look at it, retirement can be a scary thing. It’s a big change in your life, and you will suddenly find yourself with a lot more free time to fill that was once spent working hard at a desk, or in a more manual job. For some, that transition in itself is enough, but for others they want to take it further, and embrace all the changes retirement can bring at once. And that means downsizing.
In simple terms, downsizing is moving from your current home into something smaller. Often throughout life we move from place to place in search of extra space. We need to accommodate more stuff, or more people in our homes, and that means bigger and better houses. But when you hit retirement, your children have probably moved out, and you may find you’re suddenly left with more space than you know what to do with. At this point, it usually makes more sense to start going back down the ladder and move into a smaller property.
But other than giving you less space to rattle around in, what are some of the reasons you should consider downsizing in your retirement?
Downsizing to a smaller house or a flat might seem like an intimidating prospect, but it can actually simplify your life in many ways, and ultimately help preserve your independence. Before moving into a more appropriate space, you can go through and get rid of any unnecessary possessions, which means there will be fewer things to keep organised in your new home (and fewer things to clean!). Less cleaning, less maintenance and less stress, all of which adds up to a happier, healthier and more productive retirement. Moving from a larger multi-floor house to a single level bungalow or flat can also help prevent accidents, like trips and falls, that could cause you to lose your independence for a long period of time, not to mention hurt a lot.
Bigger properties come with bigger bills. A bigger mortgage, a higher heating bill to keep the space warm and a not insignificant electricity bill on top. If you’re not using all of that space effectively, it doesn’t really make sense to keep paying for it. Moving into a smaller property can significantly reduce the payments on your mortgage, not to mention your monthly utility bills, maintenance costs and more. Smaller homes tend to be much cheaper to heat and cool, and are more environmentally friendly to run, significantly reducing monthly bills. That means your pension pit will last a little longer, and you can spend that money on really enjoying your retirement. Take holidays, eat out in nice places, do activities with the family – without worrying about the bank balance.
Once people buy a home, they tend to put down roots and stay there for a long time. But as you get older, some of the reasons you chose the area you live in start to fade away. For one thing, your children may have grown up and moved away, leaving you with fewer ties to the house and community you live in. Friends might have passed away or moved on, and you might not be interested in or able to do things you once enjoyed in the community. Downsizing can offer you a chance at a fresh start and a change of scenery – which might be just what you need. You could take the opportunity to move closer to your family so you can spend more time with them, or maybe you fancy spending your autumn years by the sea or enjoying the beautiful countryside. The world is your oyster – quite literally. You could even emigrate if you wanted!
Of course, moving isn’t without its stresses, and there might be some things you really want to keep hold of, but simply won’t fit in your new, smaller property. But that doesn’t mean you have to get rid of them. Self-storage is a brilliant solution for downsizers, both while moving to make sure things don’t get damaged, and for long-term storage of sentimental or seasonal items. If you would like to find out more about using self-storage for downsizing, just get in touch with the team at Blue Box today.