The Downside of Downsizing – A Case for Rightsizing.
After many years of assisting mature homeowners in the selling and purchasing of their next home. It has occurred to me that maybe we are looking at the process of what is commonly called downsizing with the glass half empty instead of half full. I am sure that there will be many who have preached the benefits of downsizing as a way of making positive change will certainly disagree with my position on this matter.
I am in no way looking to teach a course in human resources nor am I qualified in doing so. I am however, qualified in dealing with real estate situations that are often times emotional, difficult and involve several family members in the decision process.
I believe there is a distinct difference between Downsizing and Rightsizing?
For example let’s look at the differences from a manufacturing point of view. Say you have a man to machine ratio of 2:1 and have 50 machines therefore you would only require 100 employees to get maximum efficiency. Let’s say you have 110 employees which gives you a surplus of 10 employees, if these 10 employees are let go that would be an example of rightsizing as you are making the necessary adjustments to bring your business back to its maximum efficiency.
Downsizing on the other hand, would be a case where management decides to reduce the ratio to 1.5:1 meaning you reduce your optimal number of employees from 100 to 75 while this might look like a good strategy to some extent as it reduces cost, one can also see how this would lower efficiency levels by not properly determining the right employment numbers for its requirements.
Downsizing is essentially a reactive process, one that takes place where there is a need to reduce burdens by whatever means possible and does not necessarily have a very positive connotation attached to it.
Rightsizing in my opinion gives you maximum options, is creative, exciting, has a more positive feel and is proactive as it looks at all options in order optimize ones situation with a focus on the future. Rightsizing in real estate terms, takes a strategic approach by putting a plan in motion to maximize what you have built over the course of your lifetime by moving forward in a positive direction.
A plan that might involve selling your large home to find a smaller space the right space for your new lifestyle, or staying in your home but retrofitting and implementing universal design attributes to allow one to age in place comfortably, putting in place a strategy for decluttering one that works best for you. Rightsizing should take into consideration a sound financial plan that will carry you through your retirement years without financial stress. Choosing a lifestyle that is right for you, one that is low maintenance, allows you the freedom to do the things you like to do. For some that might involve selling their home and moving into a larger home their dream home. Why would a mature homeowner or empty nester want to upsize their large home to an even larger home I am often asked? Because they can, it’s the right move for them and their lifestyle choices believe me this does happen.
You see, much of the downsizing baby boomers and seniors will experience in the next several years will be due to the lack of rightsizing from the last several years. My thinking is, if you don’t want to be downsized in the near future start a rightsizing strategy now and make it a positive move toward the new lifestyle of your choice.
The rightsizing of Brenda and Eddie.
Last spring Brenda and Eddie were looking to make certain lifestyle changes and they came to me for assistance. They owned a large home in North Toronto and could no longer manage the stairs or keep up with the routine maintenance that was needed for a home of this size. Having lived in a large home the thought of a small condo was not all that appealing to them. What they needed was a couple of bedrooms plus a den that they could use as an office, a modern kitchen and at least 2 full bathrooms. What they didn't know was that they could get all this plus a large balcony with a breathtaking view of the city and the lake, indoor parking, recreational facilities, indoor pool and much more it was the rightsize and right situation for them. Now there would be no more stairs to climb or maintenance to attend to either. Plus with the money they received from their home they were able to comfortably afford their new place and still managed to put a few bucks in the bank.
Yes they did need to declutter and a plan was needed in order to be successful but by suggesting that they rightsize instead of downsize it certainly was a more positive experience.
For those who consider rightsizing to be a euphemism for downsizing I am not here to change your view on this subject. All I can say is, I guess I am just a glass half full type of guy.
Adam Linden SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) gets the call when baby boomers, mature adults and their families face the many challenges of todays real estate market. With a team of experienced elder care professionals to draw from makes Adam a Trusted Real Estate Advisor to the 50+ homeowner.
Selling the family home, moving and looking after finances can be extremely stressful. Know your options, prepare a plan have the right people in place and understand what provincial government programs are available to mature adults. Adam is always available for a free consultation, speaking engagement or networking event.