You’ve lived in your house for decades, raising your children while celebrating joyous milestones along the way. Now your children are grown: Is it time to downsize?
Downsizing may make rational sense, but emotional landmines can make the decision difficult. “To save yourself from staying stuck in a home that’s not right for you, try to understand why you feel emotional about selling your home,” notes Chris Hogan, author of Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number.
Hogan lists four emotional obstacles to selling your longtime home:
Leaving happy memories behind: “You raised your kids and made a million memories within the walls of your home. The thought of leaving them may break your heart,” Hogan writes. But memories stay with you wherever you go, and you can bring mementos with you to the new home.
Guilt from children: Your children have the same emotional attachments to home as you do and can object strenuously when you float the notion of moving. Hogan urges parents to resist. “[N]ever let grown-and-gone kids dictate your living situation!” he writes. “Besides, think of how much fun the grandkids will having making new memories when they squeeze into your smaller, cozier house for the holidays.”
You’re afraid of change. Will getting rid of furniture and other possessions feel too overwhelming? Will you like a new home? A new neighborhood? “[W]hen you get a clear plan together, you’ll calm your fears,” Hogan reassures.
Keeping up with the Joneses: As you move to a less substantial home, your friends, perhaps, are staying in their larger, showier homes. This can make you feel inferior. “But are those really the kind of ‘friends’ you want? Hogan asks, adding, “Who knows, maybe…you will inspire them to follow.”