Downsizing is a great time to get rid of excess possessions that you no longer need. And, retirement is the best time to downsize. With no more commuting to work, hauling kids around in an SUV, or extra bedrooms downsizing makes sense now that you are retired. 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 It 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.

When It’s Done Right

Done right, downsizing can still be a good idea. You might not walk away with more money. But, you’ll simplify your life, 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.