By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

If you are in your 60s, or if you were about to turn 60, chances are the possibility of downsizing to a smaller home in retirement has been on your mind.

Because it’s a big life-changing decision, it’s one that requires time and effort to weigh both pros and cons so you can make the right decision based on your individual preferences and circumstances.

If you do decide in favor of downsizing, it will require a lot of planning. The process of downsizing can be overwhelming, but if you understand the process itself, it will be far less overwhelming, because you can take it one step at a time.

Here are Rita’s Top Downsizing Book Recommendations from Amazon to help you downsize your home now or in the near future.

Downsizing? 5 steps you can take right now to get started

1.    Know WHY you want to… or have to downsize

    • Ready for a new, simpler, and easier lifestyle
    • Want less space, less stuff, less maintenance.
    • Want more time, money, freedom, and energy to pursue a new lifestyle, including travel, adventure, personal growth, and a bucket list.
    • Want to, or need to reduce expenses, lower costs, and increase income and retirement savings.
    • Health crisis
    • Aging
    • Death of spouse or partner
    • Divorce
  • Vision for the life you want and where you want to live.

The life you want:

  • Be close to kids and grandkids.
  • Meet new friends and join new activities
  • Smaller, more affordable, and manageable home

Where you want to live:

  • Active community, people of similar age, likes and dislikes
  • Close to medical facilities, doctors, retail, restaurants, public, transportation, cultural events
  • Walkable community with bike paths, parks, recreation
  • Smaller home/condo/apartment
  • City? Country? Beach?
  • US or international location?
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3.    Explore and weigh the pros and cons of your options.

  • Research options for types of homes, condos, and apartments, available in areas you are interested in and budget you can afford.
  • Talk to people who live there about what they like and don’t like.
  • Put your “toe in the water” or test-drive areas and homes/apartments that you are interested in. i.e., vacation there, rent Airbnb to try it out, or rent for six months or a year.
  • Establish a budget and timeline to downsize.

Create a realistic budget and budget estimates for the following:

  • Cost of preparing your home for sale.
  • Cost of selling your home.
  • Cost for buying or renting a new home.
  • Cost of moving from your existing home to your new home.
  • Cost of purchasing any new furniture you might need or upgrades to your new home.
  • Prepare your home for sale
  • Declutter and purge anything you don’t want, don’t need, or will not use.
    • Get rid of anything that won’t fit in your new smaller home using “guesstimates” based on two bedrooms, three bedrooms, etc.
  • Repairs
    • Make any necessary repairs to sell your home i.e., paint, cosmetic upgrades, and lighting.
    • Stage your home for sale, and also for living in until you are ready to sell

Regardless of whether you are ready to downsize in the near future or several years from now, do yourself a favor. Take these steps now to give yourself ample time to prepare to make the best possible decision for you and the life you want to create in your retirement

If you would like a PDF of these 5 steps you can take right now to prepare for downsizing,

Please email me at

Subject line: steps to plan for retirement


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