We all know how “stuff” tends to accumulate. Maybe you’re a collector who’s gathered cherished items with joy and purpose. Or maybe life has emptied its pockets in your house, leaving you with a random assortment of odds and ends. In “Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir,” British writer Penelope Lively writes, “People’s possessions speak of them.” So what do your possessions say about you? And does it align with your vision for retirement? If not, maybe it’s time to consider rightsizing your home, aligning your living space with your goals and dreams for retirement life.
Rightsizing vs. Downsizing
It’s common to assume that as we get older, we’ll need to downsize, eliminating possessions to move into a smaller, more manageable home. But the prospect of downsizing can feel limiting, as if life is narrowing or getting smaller. With rightsizing, the emphasis is different – it’s less about getting rid of things and more about identifying what’s important to you and creating a lifestyle to reflect that. Sure, rightsizing might involve getting rid of possessions, or discovering that you’d love a smaller home, but you’re basing those choices on the life you want in the future. Rather than a cookie-cutter approach to living smaller, you’re consciously freeing yourself to enjoy what’s most meaningful in your life as you move forward.
The Process of Rightsizing
Because rightsizing your life is based on your unique dreams for retirement, the process begins with taking some time for introspection. The following questions can get you started:
What do you love about your life now? Sometimes it’s the little things – your favorite mug filled with morning coffee – and sometimes it’s bigger things – exciting travel plans or spending time with family. But whatever your answers, rightsizing will make plenty of room for these things in your life, whether that means a private balcony where you can savor morning coffee and a scenic view, or 24-hour security so you can experience worry-free travel.
- What are you ready to let go of? After decades of being chief menu planner, grocery shopper and chef, are you ready to hand cooking responsibilities over to someone else? Or maybe as much as you cherish your mother’s memory, you no longer enjoy owning her collection of Toby mugs. Honest answers will help you eliminate some of the duties that feel like drudgery or the belongings that have become burdensome.
- What are your values and goals? Your rightsized life will be firmly rooted in the values you hold dear and the goals that help you live them. Make a list of the values that you want to animate your retirement lifestyle and the goals they inspire. For example, if you value social responsibility, you’ll want to make room in your life for volunteerism. If you treasure creativity, a rightsized life might include art supplies and classes. If you set great store by curiosity, your goals might include attending lectures or joining a book club.
- How do you want to take care of your future self? Part of rightsizing is creating a lifestyle that will sustain you at every stage of life. And while it’s not fun to think about, the chances are high that in later years you may need some kind of long-term care. A person who’s 65 years old today has a 70% chance of needing long-term care at some point in the future. Choosing a lifestyle that can accommodate your changing needs, such as a senior living community Charleston, WV, with a continuum of care, will give you the peace of mind you need to truly enjoy today.
Edgewood Summit: The Perfect Fit for Your Rightsized Life
As you ponder the questions above, your vision for a rightsized retirement lifestyle will begin to take shape. The next step is to find the setting that helps make that vision a reality. Independent living in Charleston, WV, at Edgewood Summit could be a perfect match. Here, you set the agenda, free to spend your days pursuing the activities most meaningful to you, while we take care of the chores, serve delicious chef-prepared meals, and provide convenience services that make life simpler. Basking in the warmth of our vibrant community, you’ll also enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that any changes in your health needs can be met through our on-campus continuum of care, which includes assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Contact us to learn more about our friendly, picturesque community or to schedule a visit.