Now that you’re an “empty nester,” you may feel a certain nostalgia for your home. Your children grew up in this house. You spent long hours with your spouse in this home. You’ve celebrated holidays, anniversaries and birthdays there. Giving it up is no easy task.
Then there’s the physical challenge of moving. Moving from one residence to another can be a grueling job, both mentally and physically. That's especially true if you have accumulated years of "stuff" in your attic, closets and kids' old bedrooms.
While you may be finding reasons at every turn to avoid downsizing to a smaller home, you should stop and carefully weigh the benefits.
Less space equals less upkeep
You once needed a lot of living space in your home, because you had children living with you. However, now it is the two of you, or maybe it’s just you. You may find you have too much space, space that you now rarely use.
Unfortunately, that space still needs to be maintained. You still need to mow that large backyard and stain that oversize outdoor deck that mostly sits empty. Perhaps you rarely travel to the second floor of your home, but that doesn't mean the carpets up there don’t need vacuuming or that the furniture doesn't need to be dusted.
The simple truth: It is easier to care for a smaller home. You might even consider moving into a senior community, condominium unit or apartment. Such options allow you to forget about yard work, so that you’ll no longer have to worry about how tall the grass has grown or how deep the afternoon snowfall was. Less upkeep amounts to more time for hobbies, travel or other ways to enjoy your time.
Smaller homes can mean cost savings
Smaller residences often come with lower property taxes or insurance costs. You may also pay less on home maintenance and costly repairs.
Such savings can be important as you move into your retirement years. When you eventually leave the workforce, you can better protect the monthly income you do receive by reducing the money you would be spending on a larger home.
When does it make sense to move to a smaller home?
When maintaining your current home becomes too physically and financially demanding, or you think that it will in the near future, it may be time to downsize. Don't wait until you feel an urgency to move. Instead, plan ahead, prepare and allow yourself time to begin downsizing your belongings as well.
In many ways, downsizing just makes sense, not only from an economic standpoint, but also for living a comfortable, stress-free life in your retirement years. While it may be difficult to let go of your old home and the memories it holds, downsizing to a smaller home that fits your current life can provide more time and resources for creating new memories.
Thinking about buying or building a smaller home?
Old National can help with financing. Find an Old National mortgage expert near you and start your application online.
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