How to Downsize in Retirement and Enjoy Life More

Written by , October 29, 2013

How to Downsize in Retirement and Enjoy Life MoreThe concept of “downsizing” or living a simpler life is becoming more popular across different segments of American society. More people are realizing that the satisfaction they get from always having the biggest and newest consumer items is often outweighed by the additional time they need to work in order to afford that lifestyle of conspicuous consumption.

The same downsizing concepts have also become popular with individuals who have already retired or are about to do so. Remember that by “downsizing” what we’re really referring to is financial downsizing; that is, lowering monthly expenses.

With that in mind, here is some retirement advice to reduce expenses in retirement and enjoying your life more.

  • Downsize Your Home. Even if you’ve paid off your mortgage and your home outright, there are still expenses associated with it. You’ll still need to pay homeowners’ insurance, your annual property taxes, maintenance and upkeep expenses, and potentially a monthly fee to an HOA as well. In addition, the larger your home, the more time you’ll have to spend keeping it maintained (or spend money to hire someone to do that for you). By downsizing your home you can free up a significant amount of monthly expense and time – both of which you may enjoy spending elsewhere.
  • Downsize Your Life Insurance. Most individuals; particularly those who are the primary breadwinner for their family; make it a priority to carry a sizable life insurance policy. The reasons for this type of coverage are borne out of the idea that if they die within their family will lose out on the financial security that comes with the covered individuals future expected income.
    • But once you’re no longer working, your children are grown, and you and your spouse have accumulated a healthy retirement nest egg, none of the ordinary justifications for life insurance exist. Similarly, it often becomes more expensive for older individuals to continue to carry a life insurance policy. By giving up this type of coverage you can free up more cash to fund other aspects your retirement.
  • Downsize Your Automobiles. Similarly, owning an automobile (or perhaps even more than one) is a virtual necessity for most families. The parents need to be able to get to work, and they need to be able to transport their children safely to various school and extracurricular activities.
    • But when you enter retirement, you likely no longer have any of the same needs for immediate transportation. Consider downsizing to just a single automobile, or perhaps even none if you join one of the increasingly popular “car share” services. These services can give you access to an automobile whenever you want it, but without the same level of ongoing maintenance and ownership expenses.
  • Downsize Your Lifestyle. The concept of downsizing isn’t a simple “all or nothing” proposition. You can simplify and reduce your expenses in virtually any aspect of your retirement lifestyle. By picking and choosing those that are likely to yield the most beneficial results for you and your spouse, the active downsizing won’t seem particularly burdensome.
  • Finally, keep in mind that it may be worth reevaluating your finances every year or two with an eye towards other areas that you can lower expenses. By looking to keep your lifestyle simple and easy to manage, you may find to be able to get the most out of your retirement years.

    Tags: , , ,

    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • Digg
    • Delicious
    • Reddit
    • Stumble
    • Design Float
    • LinkedIn
    • MySpace
    Subscribe   Share/Bookmark

    Leave a Reply