Retirement can be a chance to live the good life. Without the responsibilities of work and with your kids living on their own you have a lot of time for you. It's a great opportunity to travel or pursue other activities or hobbies, but there's one thing that can hold you back: your house.
A house comes with a lot of responsibility. There is a lawn to care for, eaves troughs to empty, and snow to shovel. Inside, there are repairs large and small to manage. Even if you own your home it can be costing you a lot in insurance, property taxes, and utilities.
For many people, owning a house is worth the work and expenses, but do you really need all that space? Why not downsize to an apartment or condominium? What about downsizing to a smaller home in a community that looks after the details? Imagine living in a place where you can leave for as long as you want and not have to worry about it.
So, when thinking about downsizing, what is the right environment for you? Do you want to rent or own? How much space do you need? You can start by thinking about what you do each day. This works for your possessions as well. What do you use, and how often? You might at first not want to downsize because it means parting with a lot of things, but if you don't use them, you probably won’t miss them. When we talk to people after they have downsized they almost always say they do not miss their things. Take the time to really figure out what is valuable to you, either because you use it, or it has real sentimental value.
Whether or not you are ready to downsize, or have only just retired, it's good to start thinking about what is important to you, what you really need, and what you want to do. Don't be held back by your house or your possessions. You might just live a fuller life without them.