Why Midlife Is The Right Time To Downsize

When you reach midlife, it’s likely you own a lot of stuff. The bigger your immediate family, the more you have. To borrow the name of a late 1960’s movie, all this stuff falls into 3 main categories: Yours, Mine and Ours. There’s everything that belongs to you, your spouse and all the family members.  You may even have things that belong to extended family.  By being proactive and minimizing the amount you have now, you’ll be on track for a simpler life as an empty nester. Recognize that midlife is the right time to downsize your possessions and begin to attack those closets.

By midlife you’ve spent a lifetime acquiring all the things a family needs to grow, function and thrive. That mountain of stuff was useful in its day.  Now much of it is boxed or stashed in the garage. So, what’s next for you? Is retirement on the horizon? Maybe you’re considering a variety of home and/or location options. Chances are, no matter where your journey takes you, skateboards, bread-makers and video cameras won’t play a part in your future no matter how important they once seemed.

Start reducing the stuff now and open up your opportunities to explore ideas like trading a big home for a smaller one.  Or even having a more mobile lifestyle or dedicating space to a new hobby. As your family transitions into their next life stage, look for ways to simply your lifestyle.  Most noteworthy, life will be easier in the future if storage needs aren’t required to factor into housing considerations.

Right now, you’re paying to store your kids’ art work, papers, pictures and books. In addition, it’s likely there are collections, sports gear, stuffed animals and projects stashed in your house. All in all, it represents both wonderful memories and a lifetime of raising a family. However, keep in mind that moving it around for another 20+ years is going to feel like a huge burden.

So hold onto the memories and put your house on a diet. Tell your kids to pick what they want and don’t pout if they say “no thanks” to much of it. Because to them, all the treasures might represent clutter. And no, their kids won’t be interested in it either. Make peace with that thought now.  You’ll save everyone from feeling stressed about what to do with this stuff later on. Do you seriously think your future grands are interested in their dad’s little league trophy from 3rd grade? The answer is likely a big “no.”

You’re in midlife and it’s time for you to set the stage for pursuing your dreams. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to transition to retirement. Therefore, by choosing to surround yourself with relics from the past, you’ll miss the opportunities that a more simple life offers. Midlife is the right time to downsize. Appreciate the past for what it was and begin the process of spring cleaning your life.   

While many people find themselves afraid to retire, few understand the benefits of retirement coaching to help plan a smooth transition. The Retirement Style team is ready to help answer any questions about the retirement coaching process and help you plan for your retirement success.


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