Downsizing, when?

in Opinion, Retirement Savings

Given my nest is a little emptier, the next interesting question to ask is when is it time to downsize? Do you really need to downsize, or have you been living a small life?

I know a lot of friends who really don’t need to downsize, because they never really “exploded” or got “too big”, and I applaud them for their intestinal fortitude, but most of my friends will soon have:

  • A large house with a lot of empty space
  • Cars bigger than they need
  • A lot of stuff that they really may not need any more
  • etc., etc., etc.,

Downsizing

Downsizing sounds really simple, but is it as easy as you think? In my case selling my house is not completely straight forward because I have to do a lot of repairing of the Big Cajun Castle before I could sell the Chateau, so that creates the “spend lots of money to get back some money“, which is always an interesting quandary. I will have to spend this money some time, since a lot of the work really does need to be done, if I sell the house or not, so I am not that worried about it.

The need to have many cars if there is only two of you is another important issue that needs to be addressed. In my case I think I’d like to downsize to a two-seater convertible sports car (used mind you), that is my idea.

Maybe downsizing isn’t needed? Maybe you can turn this into a business opportunity opening a Bed and Breakfast or maybe take in some lodgers? You need to go and investigate that further (laws for your city and such), but that is another use for a house that has grown too large for your means.

Is Downsizing Necessary ?

I don’t think you can easily brick up rooms, but you could change your kids rooms into studies, and/or hot tub rooms, but how many extra bedrooms do you have?

How old should you be when you downsize? When you no longer need the space, or when you can no longer live in the space? These are all very good questions, but am I missing anything here?

{ 5 comments }

  • Nadine September 3, 2012, 7:04 AM

    For me, location downsizing will be the hardest thing. I live out in the country but currently have one too many neighbours. My house is 2400 sq ft, not so difficult even when the kids leave. But, I want no neighbours that I can see and would rather have a bungalow than a 2 storey because I use a wood stove insert for a lot of my heat. That means going further out into the country. I want this to be my last move but people are warning me about moving out farther away from hospitals. Apparently, ambulances have not mastered the green tag numbers we use as addresses and aren’t familiar with back roads. The house I have is at least on a paved road not too far off a major highway, so I wrestle every day with whether to stay or go. With boys 16 and 19, I’m thinking I’ve got 5 more years to decide.

    Reply
  • Canadianbudgetbinder August 31, 2012, 1:22 PM

    The big cajun castle lol… thanks for the laugh mate, I needed that. We were talking to our mate the other day and she went from what she calls a “starter home” at 1800 sq ft to a 3000 sq ft home because she wanted more space for the kids. The entire time we were chatting she was going on about she hopes she can stay and that they can afford it. Seriously? Why do people do this, it baffles my mind. Anyhow, I think some people buy more home than they really need.
    Downsizing for most may best when the kids are gone and they don’t want to do any more yard work or too much of it. My neighbour wants to golf all day with his wife he told me last night. He said he’s tired of picking weeds. He was a VP for a huge company in Canada. I don’t blame him, at his age I’d want to golf too.
    Forget about cleaning 3 bathrooms who needs that. The most important part is getting the best bang for your rennovating butt. I still have lots to do around our “castle” but I sure as heck won’t be crying if we don’t downsize. We do paid summer volunteering with our spare rooms to make some cash and it works out well.

    Reply
  • Michael James August 30, 2012, 9:08 AM

    Rereading, I see you did mention reducing stuff, but I think you may be underestimating how agonizing it would be to throw away half of all your stuff with attached memories.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman August 31, 2012, 7:26 AM

      Yes, especially when your spouse can veto your selections as well.

      Reply
  • Michael James August 30, 2012, 9:06 AM

    You didn’t mention one of the tough parts of downsizing: downsizing your stuff.

    Reply

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