Many seniors live in the same home they raised their whole family in. If you had a big family, then you likely live in a big house. Once you enter retirement, keeping up with a large house may not be as easy as it was in previous years. A common thing many seniors in retirement are doing is downsizing. Downsizing homes is where you move somewhere smaller. If you plan to downsize after retirement, here are the five things you will want to remember.
1. Stay within your budget
When you consider downsizing, the number one thing to remember is to stay within your budget. When deciding where to move next to, calculate all your monthly, quarterly, and annual expenses. This will give you a better idea of what type of home will work best with your budget.
If you find yourself having trouble saving money before your move, you have many options to consider when it comes to saving. For example, if you have subscriptions or other expenses that get drafted out of your bank account monthly and are unnecessary, go ahead and unsubscribe and stop those payments. Canceling out these types of costs will help you save money during your move in retirement and give you extra cash to save and put towards your new home.
2. Move towards your lifestyle
If you live in a community you enjoy, you may not want to give something like that up whenever you downsize. Whenever you research new locations you want to call home, consider its lifestyle. In retirement, you will have an abundance of free time. It would be best if you considered moving to a new town with social clubs, senior centers, and places to volunteer.
You may want to steer clear of college towns, as you may not want to wake up in the middle of the night to a college party happening next door. If you move to a new community with similarly aged people, you could create new friendships, and it will keep you socially active, which is vital in retirement.
3. Health insurance
When you move to a new city or state, you will want to make sure your Medicare plan follows you. If you have Original Medicare or a Medigap plan, you can move to any state without a problem, as Medicare and Medigap plans do not have networks.
Medicare Advantage plans are different than Medicare and Medigap plans. Medicare Advantage plans have networks. If you plan to move outside your plan’s network, you must notify your carrier of your move ahead of time, so they know you will need to be dis-enrolled from your plan once you move. When you do move, you will have two months to enroll in a new Medicare Advantage plan, or you can return to Original Medicare and purchase a Medigap plan instead.
4. Declutter your belongings
Downsizing homes means downsizing your belongings, as well. Getting rid of memorabilia is not going to be easy, but it is recommended when moving into a smaller home. You can begin sorting through your belongings and put them into categories, such as “keep, sell, trash, donate.”
When you go through your belongings, you can ask yourself a few questions to know which category an item should belong to. For example,
- “When was the last time I took this out of the box?”
- “Have I used this in the past year?”
- “Is this outdated?”
- “When will I ever use this?”
You may find out you don’t need or use half of the stuff you own.
5. Stay safe while moving
After you have planned, packed, and are ready to move, you will want to remember to stay safe throughout your move. For example, you do not want to strain your back while moving big, heavy boxes. Consider hiring movers or asking a friend or family member for help.
You will want to remember to hydrate thoroughly the night before and to eat a good, nutritional meal the day of, as well. It is very common to skip a meal during all the moving mayhem. If you miss a meal or become dehydrated, you may not have any energy and could become ill.
There are many benefits to downsizing, and saving money is one of the biggest. If you remember these five things when downsizing in retirement, you will be starting your golden years off to a great start.