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A New Space This Spring? Our Guide to Rightsizing in Retirement

Spring is a time of change, renewal and growth — and not just for Mother Nature. As the songbirds revisit our backyards, many of us feel the urge to deep clean and declutter our homes — or perhaps even pull up stakes and find a new home altogether.

If you’re considering a move in retirement, you’re not alone. Finding a new place to live that suits your evolving needs is a familiar challenge with a new name: rightsizing. What does it mean, exactly, and how can you put a plan in place to make your move as easy and low-stress as possible?

What is rightsizing?

You can think of rightsizing as the Goldilocks approach: You're looking for a place to live that is neither too big nor too small but just right. Depending on your tastes, needs and budget, the process may or may not involve a decrease in square footage. On the other hand, rightsizing may also provide an increase in services and amenities (particularly if you’re considering a move to a Life Plan Community).

Since rightsizing is about finding a space that works for an individual, it’s a more accurate term than downsizing. Rightsizing is about finding an environment that suits your lifestyle, rather than adapting your lifestyle to suit your environment.

Benefits of rightsizing

Of course, giving up a treasured family home isn't easy. Every nook and cranny is charged with memories, from the hallway where your kids took their first steps to the old rug where your cat once napped. It's healthy to reflect on the good times, and you can take those memories with you. It’s the burdens and inconveniences you're leaving behind.

These may be more numerous than you think. However fit and nimble you are, the risks of climbing that ladder to the attic will increase as you age. Why are you venturing up there in the first place? If it's to retrieve a wedding photo from a banker's box stuffed with broken toys and unused kitchen gadgets, it may be time to rethink your living space.

Rightsizing is also about creating time — particularly if you move to a senior living community like The Village at Providence Point—A National Lutheran Community.Freed from the burdens of home maintenance, cleaning unoccupied guest rooms and climbing stairs to do laundry, you can focus on the things that bring purpose and joy to your life, whether that's attending a cooking class, visiting a local mall or simply sharing a meal with friends. 

Three tips for getting rightsizing right 

  1. Declutter your living space

No one regrets a thorough spring clean — you’ll reap the benefits even if you decide not to move. Remember that organizing and decluttering for retirement is a personal process. Don’t let anyone pressure you into tossing out portable items that bring you joy. One person’s tchotchke is another’s treasure.

  1. Focus on what you want, not just what you need

Rightsizing can be an uninspiring process if it’s narrowed down to a list of health benefits and risk reductions (important though these things are). Don’t settle for a retirement that is simply safe and secure when you can have one that is also joyful and purpose-driven. That’s why more and more retirees are choosing to right-size to senior living communities, where they can find the support and infrastructure they need to live their best lives.

  1. Start looking at your options now

It’s never too early to start thinking about rightsizing, even if you’re happy and comfortable in your current space. The U.S. housing market is buoyant right now, so this could be a smart time to cash in on what is likely your main investment. Furthermore, simply looking into your rightsizing options can expand your horizons and get you excited about the future.

Could rightsizing be right for you? Visit our beautiful new sales center, tour a model apartment and learn more about how we’re reimagining retirement at The Village at Providence Point.

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