Is downsizing the right decision?
Hallie Rankin - Jun 01, 2023
Many people approaching or in retirement are torn between downsizing and staying in their home. Here are some considerations and how we can help.
When retirement is on the horizon or you’re already retired, you may start to think about downsizing. Often, it’s a difficult decision that involves considering a variety of financial, psychological and practical factors.
Selling versus staying
Homeowners are commonly motivated to sell when their home represents a sizable proportion of their net worth and they wonder how unlocking that capital might enhance their retirement lifestyle. However, the decision to sell isn’t always financial. Your home might be close to work, but now you want to be closer to nature. You might want a condo to make life easier—no more shovelling snow, mowing the lawn or replacing a roof or furnace. Perhaps you plan to spend warm months at your vacation property and enjoy wintertime down south.
While you’re thinking of selling, you might also be weighing reasons to stay, and there could be several. Your home may be the place you feel most comfortable. You might want to avoid the stress of moving and finding a new doctor and dentist. You may wish to keep your home as the family’s gathering place for holidays and visits. Perhaps you want to keep a larger home if your aging parent moves in or an out-of-work child returns temporarily. Your estate plan may also include leaving the family home to your children.
Making your decision
While you consider the personal side of things—the psychological and practical factors—you can involve us to assess the financial situation. For example, we can look at the net gain of downsizing after accounting for the cost of your next home, and project the impact on your income or other retirement needs and goals. You’ll feel more confident and comfortable about your decision when you have all of the personal and financial factors in front of you.