Downsize your life, not your lifestyle

Resident walking dog

Thinking of downsizing?

More aging Americans are. The main reason: Simplicity. The home where they raised a family has more space than they need now, and caring for it has become a burden – both in time and money. Plus there’s another consideration: With a move, they have the opportunity to create a new life in a new space.

That’s why Rich Misiorowski, a resident of Smith Crossing, sold his house. “I had a large home in Frankfort [Illinois] for 33 years, and it was becoming a bit much for me to handle.” He and his daughter researched available housing options and chose the Smith Crossing Life Plan Community – not only for the active lifestyle and amenities – but because he was able to age in place with a lifetime of care.

“The continuing care was a big factor,” he said. “My daughter told me ‘Dad, moving is a big challenge. You don’t want to have to do it again.’”

It’s better to downsize now rather than later

Mr. Misiorowski remains active and vital and that’s the best time to downsize, says Dr. Rodney Harrell, Vice President of Family, Home, and Community at AARP.

“Moving is hard at any age, and it only becomes more difficult as we grow older.” When you’re independent, you’ll be able to fully enjoy the lifestyle benefits that downsizing can offer, such as lower living costs, less house-related work, and a fresh way of living with more amenities and services.”

You’ve downsized your space. Is that enough? 

Simply moving to a smaller house or condo may reduce your expenses (though often not as much as people expect), but may not deliver on your lifestyle expectations. For example, new friendships may be harder to make than anticipated.

Another consideration would be location. It could become more difficult to get around town, especially if you have mobility issues or stop driving.

“A lot of people make the mistake of focusing [on the space] and not location,” says Dr. Harrell. “Where your new home is located can make a big difference for your health and wellbeing.” When you’re considering downsizing options, ask yourself, “Will my new neighborhood be walkable and accessible to community services and amenities? Will it encourage social interaction and enhance my independence?”

This is an opportunity to upsize your life

A not-for-profit Life Plan Community, like Smith Crossing, allows seniors to downsize to a more manageable space and, at the same time, enjoy a vibrant and wellness-based lifestyle – with life-enriching amenities and services right outside their door.

“I tell people, while your apartment may be smaller than your previous home, our restaurant, pub, theater, gym, meeting spaces and walking trails are also part of your home,” says Smith Crossing Sales Director Anthony Herring. “So, you’re not just living in your apartment – you have a lot more space outside to live in.”

The maintenance-free lifestyle was a big selling point for Ed Bagdon, when he and his wife Paula Fitzmaurice moved to Smith Crossing.

“I’ve actually begun to like thunderstorms and blizzards,” he jokes. “Because when we lived in our home in New Lenox, I’d worry about the sump pump going out. And when it snowed, I’d worry about getting the snow off the roof before there was damage.”

Ensure you’ll be secure for the future

Two of the biggest expenses that can hurt a retiree’s budget and lifestyle are healthcare and long-term care expenses. Will you still be able to afford to live where you are if you have health challenges? Although a Life Plan Community has higher up-front costs than a rental community, it can actually be more cost-effective in the long run.

“With a Life Plan Community, you pay an entrance fee for your life care plus a monthly fee, which covers everything from your residence, housekeeping, meals, utilities, activities, amenities and services,” says Mr. Herring. “But you can get a large percentage of that entrance fee back when you leave the community. So you’re taking care of your living costs and care needs while preserving your assets for the future. You won’t find that combination anywhere else.”

Could a Life Plan Community be the best downsizing solution for you?

Call Smith Crossing today and schedule a personalized tour. You’ll also learn about our Trial Stay Program, which allows you to experience Smith Crossing for 90 days without any obligation.