From 1946 to 1964, 76.4 million babies were born. This generation of “baby boomers” comprise around 26% of the US population today, second only to millennials. As baby boomers get older, their needs evolve, including what they look for in a home. Not having access to features such as proximity to family, friends, and amenities may lead baby boomers to find a new place to call home. While downsizing your home is not always an easy task, it is a growing trend that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Benefits of Downsizing
Downsizing your home may seem overwhelming for some, but its appeal spans generations of baby boomers and millennials alike. First and foremost, convenience is a major factor in the appeal of downsizing your home. Baby boomers may find that reducing their possessions and living space helps them reclaim energy and time. Home maintenance and upkeep no longer requires as much as before. Freed up time and energy can then be redirected toward family, friends, traveling, and hobbies.
Additionally, selling and moving into a smaller home may provide financial freedom. Possible benefits may include decreased taxes, insurance, maintenance, and overall costs of living. This leaves more room for investing and contributing to retirement funds. Downsizing could also create the opportunity to buy a second home or adapt your new home with aging in place in mind. Ultimately, downsizing may be an avenue for greater freedom in the realm of convenience and finances.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
After deciding to downsize, determining where to go is the next step. Ready to retire or not, the influx of baby boomers exploring next steps has greatly impacted senior living. In fact, they have more options than ever before, from luxury condos to city apartments to floating retirement homes. Boomers can rent or buy with their needs (and wants) in mind.
To Rent or Not to Rent?
RentCafé recently released data indicating that the age group of renters growing the fastest is those 60 years and older. In fact, there are 43% more renters in this age group than there were ten years ago. Condos and apartments in cities offer appeal due to proximity to desired amenities. Examples include walkability, restaurants, healthcare, and retail shopping. Temporarily renting also provides an opportunity to explore a city you are interested in but are unsure of whether you are ready to buy or not. Larger cities such as Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona have shown the greatest increase in senior renters over the past decade. Cities like these are often able to meet boomers’ needs.
However, other baby boomers may not need the degree of flexibility renting offers. Buying their next home provides opportunities for renovating and keeping it as an investment in the long term.
Condos: Luxury & Convenience
While houses may appeal to some baby boomers, many are drawn to benefits houses do not provide. Luxury condos may offer resort-like features that align with luxury downsizing. These amenities can include concierge services, swimming pools, onsite gyms, and ground level shopping. Downsizing may mean having less space for hosting. However, those who own a condo may still have access to community spaces to entertain family and friends as well. Additionally, condos are often located in urban areas with easy access to shopping, restaurants, and public transportation. Others may enjoy proximity to these amenities to bike or walk, easily maintaining an active lifestyle.
For those more interested in highly social living options, senior living communities may fit the bill. Residents have opportunities to transition from lower to higher levels of care within the same community of people. There is also easy access to healthcare and amenities for those who value active living like pools and gyms. Additionally, residents can attend church services, go dancing, watch movies, and experience fine dining – all in one place.
Downsizing with Style
Having to decide what stays and what goes can be tough for minimalists and maximalists alike. In fact, there is an emerging trend of enlisting the assistance of senior moving managers. There are now 1,000 senior moving management companies available in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia. Organization and pacing are key, and resources like senior moving managers can help you downsize with purpose.
Interior designers may be yet another asset, equipped with an understanding of space, function, utility, and design. In fact, downsizing provides an excellent opportunity to reevaluate your style. Once you have decided where you want to go next, an interior designer can even provide you with tips on downsizing to a smaller home. Perhaps moving is an opportunity for you to start fresh and rely on color, textures, and minimalism to dominate the tone of your new home. On the other hand, moving may provide a chance for you to keep particularly meaningful pieces for focal points in your new space.