Downsizing is not an event but rather one of your most important midlife choices. It means different things to different people... their house, the size of their property, how much mortgage they are willing and able to carry forward, their personal health, the things (both material and immaterial) they’ve accumulated—some of which they may not even be aware of.
While much has been written about emptying our closets or buying that smaller retirement home, there’s much more to it than this. Downsizing is a process through which you architect each aspect of your “next chapter” lifestyle with your partner.
The decision of when to downsize is a very personal one and is typically based on one or more motivating factors. With your children off to college and the anticipation of stepping away from a demanding work schedule comes the opportunity to reorder your priorities. Health and personal relationships, as well as, how and where you plan to invest your time become increasingly important.
When asked how they feel about their future, Baby Boomers’ responses range from worried and fearful to relaxed and unconcerned. In spite of their best intentions to invest carefully and be ready for an active retirement, life “obstacles” often get in the way. As a result, many will arrive at the “next chapter” of their life with compromised health or lacking the anticipated financial resources to live the lifestyle they had envisioned.
Being realistic in assessing your situation will allow you and your partner to design the rest of life accordingly and to live it to the fullest extent possible.
When asked why they had “downsized”, many Baby Boomers shared that they longed for the freedom of live each and every adventure that presented itself. However, having to ask someone to look after the house and all their toys while they were away became more difficult over time.
The alternative was to downsize their lifestyle, their home, and their “stuff” which provided an enormous sense of relief and freedom. Whether you choose to travel extensively or simply go to the lake for the summer and to some place warm in the winter, there is now little to hold you back.
For you, the choice to downsize opens the door to endless lifestyle options. Whether you choose to spend months travelling North America in your Motor Home or slip a way to visit your grandchildren on a moment’s notice, you are free to come and go without worries.
With each passing decade, our spouse or partner is the most important person in our life and, together, we want to share this incredible journey. While we acknowledge there were speed bumps along the way, our mate is typically the closest friend we may ever have. We want to be there to care for one another, to grow old together, to comfort one another, and to share the incredible joy of fulfilling those “next chapter” lifestyle experiences, together.
When spouses or partners are passionate about their life and their convictions, they tend to have insights and opinions that collide periodically. If we are not intrigued or at least curious in life, there is little to observe, learn, and share with one another on a daily basis. This is the fuel that drives a relationship and kindles the fire of shared dreams and imagination.
To determine how much you can afford, the first and most important step is to understand the shared goals, plans, and expectations of you and your partner. By analyzing and prioritizing these, as part of your Downsizing Plan, you’re able to develop a clear picture of your shared lifestyle objectives. Your next step is to estimate the annual cost of funding these lifestyle choices.
Now, you are ready to calculate your expected annual retirement income from all sources. If you are working, it’s necessary to determine a projected retirement date and your age at that time. If you have already retired, please ensure that you base your calculations on net income (i.e after all applicable taxes have been deducted).
While many Baby Boomers have planned to retire and not work again, the reality may be that their Downsizing expectations cannot be funded (on an ongoing basis) by the retirement income available to them. As a result, while these same people may have vowed to retire as soon as possible and never work again, for reasons discussed in The Book on Downsizing, such assertions may need to be revisited.
Having the experience, the network of contacts, and the ability to continue in the workforce as a contractor or consultant has allowed many Baby Boomers to retire on their terms, while enjoying the collaboration and income that comes with remaining active in their industry.
The key, then, is to prioritize what matters most and continue the dialogue with your spouse or partner until your shared Downsizing Lifestyle plan fits within your budget. By acknowledging and accepting this as your “blueprint” for a meaningful and exciting “next chapter”, you’ve given yourselves the freedom to live the life you designed for yourselves.
Every weekend, across the country, Open Houses are inundated with graying Baby Boomers looking for that “perfect home.”
Unfortunately, few have been coached to develop a Downsizing Plan, one that embodies their shared goals, plans, and expectations, as a couple. As a result, it’s much like trying to find the answers without first knowing what the questions are! However, once you have determined your answers to the 5 key Downsizing questions of “What”, “When”, “Why”, “Who With”, and “How Much”, determining the “Where” is greatly simplified.
By providing you with the tools to profile and then to envision your “Next Chapter” home, The Book on Downsizing guides you through the process of connecting those shared lifestyle expectations you have defined with your ideal next home, neighbourhood, and country-of-choice.
Yes, that's right! Today the world is your oyster and regardless of your budget you have choices. Your "where" is limited only by your imagination and desire to experience something new. Your Downsizing Plan can provide you with the opportunity and freedom to choose your ideal home, anywhere!
TollFree: +1 855 755 2665.
TollFree: +1 855 755 2665
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