Is It the Right Time for Downsizing to a Senior Living Community?
Now that the kids have moved out of the family home and you’re approaching retirement, does the house seem too large to enjoy? Maybe you feel like you simply have too much space to use regularly or that your home is becoming more of a to-do list of tasks instead of the comfortable haven it once was.
It’s common for adults over the age of 55 to reevaluate their living environment, with the majority finding that keeping up with a large home is just not how they want to be spending their time. If your house is full of rooms that you don’t consistently use anymore, or if you are just craving a bit of simplicity as you move toward the next phase in life, downsizing to a senior living community could be just the solution you are seeking.
But how can you know if it is the right time to begin to downsize to senior living? After all, aren’t independent living communities for much older adults and not for their younger peers?
Let us clear the air and encourage you to clear out some space. Here’s what you should know about making a move to senior living sooner rather than later, so you can enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle and all the perks now.
Senior Downsizing or Rightsizing?
It’s important first to talk about the word “downsizing.” The word can hold a negative connotation because it brings about fears of getting rid of things and moving to a tiny space.
The baby boomer generation changed the downsizing game, as they have changed so many marketing messages and phrases in the past 50 years. Thanks to them, downsizing is no longer the commonly used term for clearing clutter and moving into a smaller space. Instead, “rightsizing” is used in its place.
Rightsizing gives a more accurate description of the process of choosing to live in a home that is right for your stage in life. Adults who rightsize are choosing to stop tidying up multiple guest rooms that are only used a few times per year and deep-cleaning giant kitchens with too many burners and too many seats at the table. Instead, rightsizing adults are finding a home that still has the modern finishes they love but in the right size so they can spend more time and energy pursuing what matters most to them.
Rightsizing goes for possessions, too. Storage areas full of decorations, objects, and other clutter can be overwhelming to maintain and keep track of. Adults who rightsize their possessions know that many objects do not hold memories, and that they can find freedom and a breath of fresh air when they decide to reduce the clutter.
The Benefits of Rightsizing
You don’t have to be a retired adult to rightsize your home or your possessions. In fact, many homeowners are choosing to live in smaller homes in order to save money, increase cash flow, and have more quality time with their family members. Minimalism and tiny living is a trending topic for all ages and in all areas of the world.
Gain personal flexibility.
For retirees, rightsizing can bring even more benefits at their stage of life. Choosing to rightsize your home, possessions, or both can give you more flexibility to be spontaneous and to spend your time the way you want to.
For example, if you knew you didn’t have to mow your large lawn weekly, you could schedule in more time for a hike, a bike ride, or exploring the local farmer’s market. Similarly, if you take away the task of deep-cleaning your large home, you can spend the weekend away instead.
Improve accessibility, for now and the future.
Beyond having more flexibility with your time and energy, rightsizing can also ensure your home matches your current and future accessibility needs. Although you might not have trouble navigating your two-story home now, it only takes on elective hip or knee replacement to make you wonder why you opted for an upstairs bedroom.
Similarly, large homes can increase fall risk for even the most active older adults, because they often have many different flooring surfaces, stairs, and poorly lit corners that can make falling common. It is also important to recognize that large homes require mobility and energy to navigate, which can decrease in older adults due to aging challenges or other medical conditions.
Boost your budget.
Rightsizing can also boost your financial budget. Maintaining a smaller, rightsized space can mean fewer expenses for utilities, furnishings, and clutter.
Rightsizing to a Senior Living Community
When you think of a senior living community, do you think of small apartment homes? Think again! Most senior living communities offer a variety of floor plans and options to ensure your home matches your style and needs.
Enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle.
Transitioning to senior living means you can rightsize your home and possessions as well as enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle. You won’t have to coordinate landscaping services or spend a weekend cleaning your home. Instead, let the team members at your senior living community take care of the housekeeping and maintenance tasks so that you can do what you want to do, not what you have to do—spend the day taking a dip in the pool, taking a pottery class with a neighbor, or traveling to the local winery for a tasting with your friends.
Maximize your social and personal time.
When you rightsize to a senior living community, you automatically expand your social circle. This added benefit is especially important to your long-term physical and emotional health after retirement.
At Cedarhurst communities specifically, our Living TRUE℠ program means you always have a choice of what comes next, whether it is a yoga class in the fitness center, a quiet moment alone with a good book, or entertaining family in the private dining room or on the patio. Rightsizing your space can mean boosting your energy and time so you can enjoy every opportunity available—social or relaxing.
Discover financial predictability.
Finally, rightsizing to a senior living community brings a more predictable budget. Most senior living communities bill a monthly fee, which means you know how much money you owe each month. In contrast, living at home can be full of unexpected financial surprises—a new roof, a water leak repair, or a lawn mower that needs to be replaced—that can leave your budget feeling chaotic. You’ll love having a more simplified budget in a senior living community and eliminating the need to pay multiple bills each month.
At Cedarhurst communities, we also want to give new residents the reassurance they will love their investment. Our 60-day money-back guarantee, the Cedarhurst Promise™, is just one more reason to be confident about the switch to community life.
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How to Start Rightsizing
You don’t have to be ready to move to senior living in order to begin your rightsizing journey. In fact, we could all use some rightsizing when it comes to our clutter and possessions.
Articulate your goals.
To get started, simply write down your goals for rightsizing. Do you want to experience a more minimal lifestyle? Do you want more energy and less clutter? Jot down how you want to feel and what you want to gain from the rightsizing experience. Keep this list handy so you can remind yourself of your goals when you are feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated.
Take it one step at a time.
Next, start your rightsizing journey one room at a time. No need to tackle the whole house in a weekend. You’ll make more progress if you tackle each room, closet, or storage bin with ample energy. Be sure to stop when you feel overwhelmed and return to it after you’ve taken the time you need.
Find help when you need it.
Finally, don’t be afraid to hire a professional. Senior rightsizing is a common specialty for many professional organizers. They can help you develop a plan for rightsizing or even do the heavy lifting on your behalf.
Begin Your Plans Soon
It’s never too early to begin planning your rightsizing process that leads to a senior living community. One way you can plan is to begin reviewing your budget and your dreams for the future. Download our free resource A Complete Guide to Financial Planning for Senior Living to learn more about what to expect when it comes to financing your future in a senior living community.
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