Tag Archives: Simplicity

Simplify Retirement By Downsizing Your House, And Your Furniture

One of the main focuses of this blog is, as the title says, making retirement simple for you and me. Put another way, how to simplify our lives in retirement. Here’s some spot-on advice from AARP: Downsize from your Big House to a smaller residence appropriate to your needs. Specifically, AARP recommends:

“Consider making this decision as soon the kids are gone rather than when you’re ready to retire. Even if your home is already paid for, there are still significant costs in owning more space than you really need, including taxes, utilities, insurance and repairs. Plus, it will force you to downsize other belongings, too. You’ll also have an excuse for why the kids can’t move back in with you later!”

You can find a quick slide show with concise information about specific categories of possessions to consider parting with, here.

In my opinion, might as well sift through all this stuff, sort it out, and get rid of it now, rather than move it to your new, smaller digs, where it simply will not fit.

Here’s a secret I learned from personal experience. Look at the large sofa, dining table, and other furniture that’s comfortable in your spacious manse. If you try to stuff large pieces of furniture into a small one- or two-bedroom condo, or maybe an efficiency apartment, you’re going to have no space to walk between the furniture. You’ll feel like the place is overflowing with furniture and the walls are about to explode. Point is, furniture should be right-sized for the size of your new abode.

Appropriately sized furniture fits more comfortably into smaller spaces. Replacing  that sofa with a loveseat will make the room look larger. Do you really need a dining room table for twelve in your new two-room condo? You might consider an intimate table for two in the kitchen.

It’s a pain in the neck to sell used furniture. But furniture in decent condition is always needed by many people. Find someone in your family who can use it, or give it to Goodwill. Some charitable organizations will send a truck to haul away your excess furniture. They’ll either pass it along to needy families, or sell it in a thrift shop to raise money for the charity. They’ll give you a receipt so you can deduct the donation from your income taxes!

I’ve given away a ton of stuff over the past seven years. Life is simpler with less.

Ah, Retirement

Welcome to my new blog.

Nearly everyone I know is retiring. Most folks in my circle of friends and relatives begin collecting Social Security at 62. I know I did. I took Social Security at 62 because I needed it (my earnings plummeted in the recession). Social Security was a welcome supplement to my wages, but not enough to allow me to quit the job.

The building blocks

At 62, health insurance was a major obstacle. Between the job and Social Security, I was able to purchase health insurance through a state program. I worked mostly to pay for health insurance until I turned 65. Because I was already collecting Social Security, Medicare kicked in automatically at 65. Is this a great country, or what?

Also, I had a couple of small pensions I was able to start collecting at 65. Medicare was the missing piece that made it possible to retire with the peace of mind that I’d have access to health care when needed. There you have the building blocks of retirement: Social Security, Medicare, Pensions. You might notice that one obvious building block is missing. Savings! I plan to talk about retirement savings as little as possible, for reasons that will become clear.

Peace of mind

Retirement plus peace of mind — that’s what it’s all about for me. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It certainly hasn’t been as easy as I had imagined. I’ve hit a few bumps along the way. Long story short, I realized I need to simplify my life while maintaining a tolerable lifestyle. I prefer simplicity, and I know that my limited retirement income will require simple living.

Aging Gracefully

I feel pretty healthy right now (age 67), but I’m fully aware that as the months and years roll by, faster and faster, I’ll be growing older. I’d like to age gracefully, be kind to to all, contribute something to my community, and find joy in retirement. And I’d like to write about it along the way. That, in a nutshell, is the reason for this blog. And that concludes the introduction.

The next post, within a day or three, will enumerate the subjects you’ll read about here. I hope to focus tightly on retirement and graceful aging, and avoid going off topic. See you soon.