Radical downsizing

by Teresa

I retired last year at the age of 65. We spent the last year doing lots of thinking. After realizing that we couldn't continue the same lifestyle, we decided to downsize significantly by selling the house and all our belongings and use the equity to buy something much smaller and eliminate the mortgage payment.

Then we had to find a new place to live and after much research, found a 55+ community that we liked in Florida and have now been here three months.

We have gone through many stages--adjusting to full retirement and separating from our work lives, weighing all the possible alternatives for life after retirement, deciding what we wanted to do and then actually going through the steps. This last step of starting over with all our routines totally changed has been the toughest and also the most gratifying.

We moved from having a 3 floor home, 4 bedroom home on 3 acres in Kansas to a small 2 bedroom condo with minimal furniture and decorations in southwest Florida. Our cabinets and closets are mostly empty and we no longer so many things we do not use and don't want.

We have turned over our kids' "stuff" to them and now we make very conscious choices about what else we want to add.

We have paid off most of our debt and do have enough to live on (carefully) and are close to an airport so we can travel to see our kids who are located across the US.

Comments for Radical downsizing

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Happy for you!
by: Gwen / Denver

I retired fully a year ago and hubby will be retiring this summer. That being said, my retirement has been an adjustment to say the least and his will be equally challenging as well.

We also live in a 3 story home with 4/4 full of things/furniture we've accumulated over the past 35 years. It's tough to try and sell furniture we no longer need but are emotionally attached to.

I'm 57 and hubby is 58 so we're still pretty young and active. We are looking for a condo in the gulf coast area of Florida as well as the Hilton Head, SC area.

We purchased a mountain property in Colorado for our spring/summer/fall location a few years ago so just looking to "snowbird".

by: Jennifer/New York

Aside from my previous comment I also wanted to add that instead of such a radical change in lifestyle caused by downsizing, a reverse mortgage is something helping so many now, including my family.

I'm down with downsizing!
by: Jennifer from New York

I love being on here to try and help my Mom and get through the challenges of retirement by learning from all of you. So thank you.

I wanted to chime in and let you know I am very happy my Mom has downsized. She is more comfortable because of it in terms of space, she is able to focus on the important things that surround her now instead of clutter and also, she knows it makes my life easier now and it will later as well.

It is such a smart thing to do and we felt great making donations to Big Brother Big Sisters too!

you've got the right idea
by: Nancy

I envy you, downsizing and getting rid of stuff you don't need. I would like to do that, however, not possible.

We have a 2 acre yard and a house. There is always something going wrong that has to be fixed, a condo would be nice. We also have a 40 acre farm.

My husband does all the mowing on the yard and the farm, of which I am grateful, of course, but I think what it would be like if I had to do it. We are 65 and 68. So what you have done sounds really smart and really planning ahead.

Thanks for sharing. I guess I could get a dumpster and start clearing out stuff! A new retirement idea!

Southwest Florida Rocks!
by: Mark, Cambridge MD

You guys are in the perfect spot to enjoy your glory days. My parents lived in an awesome 55+ community in North Ft. Myers for about eight years and the area is just flush with places to see and things to do.

Make sure you check out the funky little artist community of Matlache (mat-la-shay) on Pine Island and the quirky resort of Fort Myers Beach. Sanibel and Captiva islands offer more tranquility and breathtaking natural beauty.

And if you happen to be anywhere near Cape Coral you have to find the tiny but incredible city park, marina, tennis club and beach at the very tip end of Del Prado Boulevard.

Get there really early on a clear morning and you will think you have found your personal slice of heaven. I envy you both!

Retirement Success!
by: Wendy

Teresa, It sure sounds like you both had a plan, thought about your options, and did the work to move to your own perfect retirement lifestyle! What a Great job!

Kudos to both of you!

Enjoy your retirement and thanks for sharing this huge success for others to consider!

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