The Upside of Downsizing
It might sound cliché but sometimes having less really is more.
Case in point: clearing your garage of clutter so you can finally park your car in it. Or discovering a perfect-fitting pair of jeans amid the ones you finally got rid of because you hadn’t worn them in 10 years.
Sometimes possessions no longer serve their intended purpose and we need that extra push to get organized and simplify our lives. No matter where you are in life, downsizing can be beneficial. Here are some easy ways to get started:
- Reflect on what’s important. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of items. Prioritize what has personal and financial value and weed out the objects with little meaning or use to you. Start small, rather than tackling your entire home at once. By decluttering, you may also gain peace of mind.
- Decide who can benefit the most. Does another family member treasure your mother’s heirloom jewelry more than you? Can a charity use clothing or furniture you no longer want? Donating assists those in need, and being generous is an act you can feel good about.
- Simplify your living situation. Determine what you really need at this stage of your life. Do you need an extra vehicle if both you and your spouse are no longer working? If you’re an empty-nester, moving to a smaller home can reduce your overall expenses, including mortgage payments and insurance costs. With less maintenance, you may find that you have more time for the activities you love. And by reducing your bills, you may have more money to spend during retirement, as well as share with others.
Get Your Financial House in Order
As you look at ways to downsize your possessions, remember to clean up your estate plan, as well. Address any life changes that may have occurred since you created or last updated it.
- Your family. With births, deaths, marriages or divorces, you may want to add or delete beneficiaries or adjust their shares of your estate.
- Your property. Events such as growth (or decline) in the value of your estate, the acquisition of a new home, or the sale or gift of property may necessitate changes to the provisions in your will.
- Your new location. Your will should be updated if you move to a new state. Different requirements for the execution of a will, state inheritance taxes and probate laws may make revisions necessary. Contact an estate planning attorney in your new state.
- Your charitable interests. Will your good work continue after your lifetime? Consider including a bequest to Hospice of the Valleys by designating a percentage of your estate to us, naming us as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy you no longer need or making a tax-free gift from your IRA to support our mission.
The Art of Downsizing
As you downsize your material possessions, think about how you can upsize your giving to Hospice of the Valleys. If making a gift to our organization makes sense, contact Gina O’Bryant at email@example.com and (951) 200-7800 to discuss your giving options.