Here’s a fun little adventure you can go on: Count all of your stuff. Literally. Every piece of everything visible and hidden away in a closet. Too overwhelming? For most of us, it would be a daunting task. There is nothing wrong with having a lot of stuff, but at some point, you might want to consider simplifying your life. That’s where downsizing comes into play. As a concept, downsizing refers to making do with less. This doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your living quarters or throw out all your keepsakes. Instead, it means making some proactive choices about where you live that can have a huge impact on the rest of your life. As you think about retiring, downsizing will start to make a lot of sense. Consider the benefits of downsizing your corner of the world:

Financial Savings

The key to a happy retirement is to maintain a certain standard of living that you’ve grown accustomed to. That can only happen with some bucks in the bank. Once you’ve set up your retirement savings, you’re still going to have living expenses to take care of. If you downsize to a smaller home, condo or apartment, you’re going to be saving on mortgage payments right out of the gate. By selling your home, you will be able to put a good chunk of dough into your retirement savings account. Plus, with less square footage, you will be less inclined to bring in more stuff. That translates to big savings!

More Personal Time

If you downsize to a community that is part of a homeowner’s association or go into a nice apartment building, then you can say goodbye to all that home maintenance. This doesn’t mean that things won’t need fixing. It just means that somebody else will do the fixing. That will free up more time to relax and do the things that matter a.k.a. Reading and going to lunch.

Smaller Energy Output

How many rooms in your current home are benefiting from central heat and air even though nobody is using those rooms? Downsizing means an automatic reduction of your carbon footprint. Cutting back on all that electricity, heat or air conditioning will have Mother Nature smiling. It will also mean more money in your wallet.

Starting A New Chapter

Your retirement is all about starting a new chapter in your life. What better way than moving into a new home. This will give you the opportunity to go through all of your stuff. You can keep the things you want, hand down the others and everything else gets donated or trashed. What a relief! That new home will also open up the possibilities of new friends. If you plan it right, then you could also move into a community that is chock full of amenities. Tennis or swimming, anyone? Are you ready to downsize?