The Pros and Cons of Downsizing Your Home After Retirement brought to you by contemporary retirement coaching

If you're considering moving to a smaller home after retirement, here are some of the pros and cons to help you make your decision...


The first and most obvious advantage is that, if your existing home is worth a lot of money because of its location and size, and/or you have a lot of equity in it, the sale of the home could give you a cushion of money to make life in retirement a little easier and fund some of those 'bucket list' adventures.

I'm assuming that you would be moving to a property that would be easier to manage as you get older - not one that's going to make life more difficult.(Although I accept that I could be biased because cleaning and other assorted, household-related tasks are not really on my list of fun things to do and I can't imagine that ANYONE would CHOOSE to spend MORE time engaged in those activities!)

Downsized would, presumably, mean cheaper as far as heating, cooling and property tax bands are concerned.

If you like decorating and/or DIY, you might relish the idea of 'doing up' another home and putting your personal stamp on it.

You could have a fresh start and get rid of some of the clutter and 'stuff' that you've accumulated over the years. (Although having to get rid of much-loved stuff because you can't fit it into your new place could also be a disadvantage...)

And, of course, downsizing would also bring the opportunity to look for a neighbourhood with close proximity to the amenities and services that will be useful in later life if your health deteriorates and you can no longer drive.


The most obvious disadvantage that springs to mind is leaving your old home, neighbourhood, and friends and neighbours behind...

...which means acquiring new neighbours - which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the personalities of those new neighbours. For many people, the worst thing about downsizing to a smaller place is the fact that, very often, they put themselves closer to other people and their noise (from blaring music, social activities, domestic arguments, etc).

There is, of course, an emotional cost to leaving a home where you raised a family and spent many happy years of your life. If you're downsizing from the family home, you may also meet some resistance from your kids for the same emotional reasons.

Another big disadvantage MAY be that a downsized home may mean a 'not-as-nice-as-the-old-one' home... or a 'not-enough-room-when-friends-and-family-come-to-stay' home (although this could, equally, be an advantage and a useful excuse if you don't particularly enjoy the company of some of your friends and family members).

A smaller home might mean a smaller or non-existent garden (again, not a problem for someone like me - I hate gardening and it would save me the cost of having to pay someone else to do it for me!).

Moving home can be stressful at any age and, I suspect that, the older you get, the more stressful it feels. And, of course, the costs associated with selling a home and buying another will only add to that stress!

When you're downsizing to a place that you hope to stay in for the rest of your life, you need to be more discerning than you have ever been at any other time in your property-hunting life - particularly if you're buying a home. (If you're renting you can, at least, move on again after the initial rental period is up!)

A good solution, if you can afford it, is to rent a home (of a similar size and quality to the one you're considering downsizing to) for six months, before committing yourself to a permanent move. At the end of the six-month period, you'll have a much clearer picture about the viability - and sustainability - of such a move, and, if you've hated every minute of living there, you can lick your wounds in your old pad and re-adjust your downsizing plans in the light of the knowledge gleaned from the experience...

Created By
Ann Harrison


Created with images by paulbr75 - "home for sale house" • PhillipC - "Moving in 10" • blickpixel - "stroller children walk" • dennisflarsen - "samson dog newfoundland" • Charleston's TheDigitel - "For rent sign"

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