I’m a big proponent of downsizing, as you know.
In fact, I’m a downsizer myself.
The savings I’m experiencing just allowed me to spend two weeks in the South of France, a trip I’d have never been able to afford before.
But what if someone decides to do the exact opposite and buck the downsizing retirement trend? That means UPSIZING! I’m sure you’re wondering why someone would make such an ill-advised move.
But hold on one second. Can it ever make sense to upsize?
Bucking the Trend
I just met a couple who decided to do just that, and their story changed my mind forever about the necessity of downsizing. They’d prefer to remain anonymous, so let’s call them The Smiths.
The Smiths have lived for 35 years in the same small Cape Cod home in suburban New Jersey. They are retired and decided to make a very big change in their lives; to move into a home and property more than twice the size of their existing home!
Sounds illogical, impractical, unreasonable, no?
Well, consider. Why do most people upsize? There are four primary reasons:
- To accommodate a growing family. (Something you do in your 30’s and 40’s.)
- To keep up with the Joneses. (Competition has no age.)
- Because you can afford to and you want a more luxurious spacious home. (40’s and 50’s.)
- Because your parents told you to. (Still an adolescent no matter your biological age.)
But definitely no one upsizes in their 70’s. No one!
You either “retire in place” (the new lingo), move to a condo, or move to a warmer climate with lower real estate prices.
But not the case with Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Instead, they decided that their long shared dream was to have a spacious home on a large property.
They sat and dug down deep and decided they didn’t want to travel. They don’t even like to travel. They don’t play tennis or golf. They have no hobbies. They don’t go out to expensive restaurants. They have no heirs.
Whatever money that still had could buy them a new house, and keep them there until they couldn’t physically stay there any longer.
So Should You Definitely Downsize?
So – what’s the moral of the story? Nine out of ten times I’d recommend downsizing as a fail proof method of cutting down on expenses, helping people stretch their savings through retirement and allow them to do those things they had put off until then.
But when I saw Mrs. Smith floating through her new home, talking about all the entertaining they were going to do on their expansive deck – well, it moved my heart. I realized that it’s never too late to follow and achieve your dreams. And it confirmed to me that your home is where your heart is.
The Smiths have a lot of work to do. Lots of renovation, creating a master bedroom on the first floor, making fixes.
It’s going to take up a lot of their time. And there is nothing they’d rather do. They are taking the plunge, making big changes in their lives, doing what they love best.
And that’s what I call a great retirement plan – take big bites out of life and deciding that the perfect upsized home is what will fulfill their dreams.
Do you have any friends or family that bucked the trend and upsized? What were their reasons? Do you think they made a good decision? Answer below in the comments.