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Downsizing Tips for Baby Boomers

This post is sponsored by Acts Retirement-Life Communities. All opinions are those of the Dollar Stretcher.

As you approach retirement, chances are you've given some thought to downsizing your home. Your children are grown and maintenance has become a little more challenging each year. There was a time when you enjoyed cutting the grass but now it's a tiring chore that saps your energy. And, the costs of home ownership can be a problem. Maintenance, taxes and maybe even a mortgage.

Whatever the case, if you've decided that downsizing is the way to go, these tips will help you make the transition.

Step 1: Begin Thinking About Downsizing

The first step is to decide how much room you'll actually need. Do you have a hobby that requires its own crafting or storage area? Do you have grandchildren who visit often? If your grandchildren stay with you often, it could be nice to have a little extra room.

If you live in a multi-level home another option to consider may be downsizing to a ranch home, to have access to all rooms without requiring stairs.

Others may prefer an apartment or townhouse instead of a single family home. No more yard work, no more worrying about replacing a roof or shingle damage during storms, no more shoveling. Will you be traveling and away from home often? If so, you can just lock your door and go. No worrying about lawncare or making your home look occupied.

Further, if the house/townhouse/apartment is in a retirement community then they'll probably provide activities, buses and excursions to common locations, etc. A Continuing Care Retirement Community will also provide care for any and all medical and health issues that may arise.

Step 2: What Will You Take With You?

Once you have an idea of how much space you'll have it's time to start thinking about how many possessions you can take with you. If you're like most people you've accumulated things over the years. Now is the time to consider what things are needed or have great sentimental value. Other things will need to be left behind.

That means you'll need to sort through your possessions. Those boxes in the back of closets will need to be opened, examined and a decision made as to what to do with the contents.

If it's something that you can't part with, you'll need to decide if it's going with you or if it will be put into a storage facility. Before you make a final decision remember that a picture of your grandmother's favorite vase can trigger fond memories in place of the real item. Also remember that storage costs money.

You'll need to decide what to do with the stuff that you won't be taking with you. The obvious first step is to ask your kids if they want their childhood toys or anything that could hold an emotional memory for them. Don't forget brothers, sisters and even cousins. Something that's not memorable for you might be very sentimental for them.

Next look to see if anything remaining has value in a sale. You may want to have a garage sale. But you might want to consider offering more valuable items on eBay or Craigslist. Anything remaining can be donated to a non-profit thrift store.

Step 3: Plan Your Finances

Consider your budget and finances. Moving to a new residence will change your monthly expenses. Do a little research to find out what your various living options would cost you. See how those options fit into your budget.

Depending on your age and health you may need to consider whether you want some assistance with daily tasks. You may find that you'd like help with cooking, cleaning and laundry. Keep those things in mind when you begin selecting your new home.

Step 4: Put Your Plan Into Action

At this point you'll be ready to make a decision where you'd like to live after you downsize. It's one of the most important decision you'll make. Here's an article with some tips for touring a retirement community.

Acts Retirement-Life Communities has 21 retirement communities in 8 states, and it's an excellent option for retirement living. The communities offer a range of apartments, villas, and cottages that are a perfect fit for both your budget and your lifestyle. And Acts Communities offer a variety of fitness activities and classes like art and book clubs. As you're researching your options, be sure to look at the Acts Retirement-LIfe Communities - you might just find your perfect new home!

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