Retirement is a great time to get rid of excess possessions that you no longer need. No, more commuting to work, hauling kids around in an SUV, or extra bedrooms makes retirement a perfect time to downsize. Active adults who swap the mansion for the single-story home benefit from having less to maintain and more time to do as they please. Yet, many retirees are not sure what they really need to take into retirement with them. Here are a few tips that may help you decide what you truly need and what you can live without.

Why Downsizing Makes Sense

Couples often start their married life in a tiny starter home, upgrade to a slightly larger home to raise a few kids, and then stay in that hopefully mortgage-free home in retirement. But many retirees no longer need a several bedroom home. And even if your spacious home is paid off by the time you retire, which is increasingly unlikely, your costs for maintenance and utilities are inherently higher.

Retirement is a journey not a destination!

Done right, downsizing can still be a good idea. You might not only walk away with more money, but also simplify your life and reduce your home maintenance and utility costs for years to come. To reach that happy outcome, you need to steer around the unexpected pitfalls that make downsizing so dicey.