By now, we all know downsizing in retirement can be extremely beneficial. However, do you know the best rules to live by as you begin your downsizing journey?
Rules to Downsizing in Retirement
If you are thinking of downsizing in retirement, start now. It can be a long and emotional process and the sooner you start the better off you will be. You can start small with a single drawer, but start today. You can set a 15-minute timer to go through your stuff bit by bit. Even if you’re not planning to move for some time, it’s still a good idea to start purging your stuff on a regular basis. You can follow the KonMari method and only keep the items that spark joy.
Stop Acquiring “Stuff”
If you are downsizing, or even thinking about it, now is not the time to acquire more “stuff.” That doesn’t mean you can’t ever get new things, just that you should be cognizant of the items you are bringing into your home. The rule should be, for every one thing you bring into your house, you should get rid of another.
Live Below Your Means
This means you should spend money on what you need, not what you can afford. Keep in mind that downsizing is just as much a financial decision as it is a convenience. Let’s say, for example, you want a new car but your old car runs fine. Not only does it run fine, but it is paid off. If you are looking to downsize, now may not be the best time to add another expense if you don’t need it. Just because you can afford a new car payment doesn’t mean you should jump at the opportunity.
Get As Much Pleasure Out of Saving
We’ve all given in to an impulse buy we didn’t need. But what is going on psychologically when we spend money? It turns out that spending on little impulse buys is caused by something called delayed reward discounting. This is when your brain automatically decides on a small, immediate reward over larger, long-term rewards you have to wait for. Learning to fight against this phenomenon is essential to forming good spending habits.
However, it is possible to gain pleasure from saving. The opposite of delayed reward discounting is the pain of paying. With this phenomenon, we tend to feel pain or guilt when we pay for things in cash. So, one way to save money is to start paying for your groceries in cash. Not only does this keep you on a budget, but also diminishes your desire to spend on impulse buys.
Don’t Over Save for the Next Generation
Many people like to save many of their possessions to pass them on to the next generation, either their children or grandchildren. However, this doesn’t always go according to plan. Often, people save items for their children or grandchildren only to find out that they have little to no interest in keeping the items. This can be especially true of grandchildren. After all, how interested is your ten-year-old granddaughter going to be in your fancy china set? Not to mention that millennials, zennials, the children of many retirement-age individuals, almost certainly don’t want more stuff.
Ready to begin downsizing? Here is the best FREE starter’s guide to beginning your downsizing journey. Click the icon below to download your FREE copy to Unlock the Power to Declutter: The Definitive Guide on How to Start.
Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Westlake, Ohio, independent living apartments, assisted living, rehab services, and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Concord Reserve online or at 440-871-0090.