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Downsizing For Retirement: A Step-by-Step Guide 

Millions of older Americans are choosing to go small in retirement.

According to a Zillow report, 46 percent of baby boomers who sold homes in 2017 were in the process of downsizing.

Downsizing is a major decision, influenced by unique financial and emotional factors.

Decluttering a large home is no easy feat. Selling your house, finding a new one and moving your belongings adds further complexity.

In this guide, we explore the reasons people downsize for retirement and share advice from experts on how to navigate the transition.

We also look at other aspects of the process, such as getting your home market-ready and estimating moving costs.

Determine Your Reasons for Moving

Moving is a stressful experience at any age. Downsizing for retirement carries unique challenges.


In 2017, nearly two-thirds of older Americans had moved or anticipated moving in retirement.

Source: Merrill Lynch

Before you get started, determine why you’re moving.

In a 2018 study by Merrill Lynch, the number one reason given by respondents for moving in retirement was to be closer to family. The desire to reduce expenses came in a close second.

Not everyone makes the conscious decision to downsize. Sometimes a move is immediate and necessary because of rapidly declining health, the loss of a spouse or an unexpected financial crisis.

Understand your own motivation for moving. Weigh the pros and cons so that you feel comfortable with the decision.

It can be helpful to consider the following questions:

  • Where do you want to live?
  • Do you want to live in the same area or a different state?
  • What style home will be practical to navigate?
  • How much space do you need to be comfortable?
  • What sacrifices are you willing to make?
  • How much time and money can you commit to the moving process?

It’s also important to communicate early and often with your family.

Read the full article at https://www.retireguide.com/guides/downsizing-for-retirement/