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What is Rightsizing?

If you’re thinking about moving from your current dwelling, how much living space you need is vital in the decision-making process. Rightsizing your life can open you up to a world of new possibilities for retirement living.

What’s the difference between downsizing and rightsizing?

Downsizing means moving to a smaller residence and, therefore, getting rid of furniture and household items that you don’t need and that won’t fit into the new space.

Rightsizing is the conscious choice to create a life and a lifestyle that more sustainably aligns with your unique self in the best possible way at every stage. In other words, rightsizing your life means asking what’s really important, then aligning the way you live with those values, goals and needs. When you do that, you’re able to create a more fulfilling life.

Rightsizing for Seniors

For some, this may mean moving to a smaller residence, while others may decide they need more space than they currently have. Rightsizing can also mean choosing the simplicity, convenience, and opportunities that come with being part of a senior living community.

How do you decide which is right for you? Start by reflecting on your values, goals, and needs, both now and for the foreseeable future.


There’s more to your senior living choices than the size of your residence. Honestly evaluate these core values so you can make a decision that helps you live how you truly want to:

  • Having a strong and supportive social network

  • Finding purpose and fulfillment

  • Taking care of my mind, body and spirit

  • Having quality health care available if I need it

  • Having predictable living expenses

  • Making my own choices

  • Feeling true peace of mind about the future

  • Protecting my estate for my loved ones

  • Not burdening my family with becoming my caregiver

Now think about how your current residence — and its expenses. Does it support these values or get in the way? How would your living situation need to change for you to align your lifestyle with these values?


How do you want to spend your time and energy? What will make life more fulfilling for you? Use this list to start evaluating how you’re currently spending your time and what you’d like to do more of if you could.

  • Volunteering

  • Attending cultural events

  • Pursuing physical fitness activities

  • Spending time with friends

  • Gardening

  • Learning something new

  • Attending a study group or book club

  • Swimming, biking, hiking, or golfing

  • Creatively expressing myself

  • Traveling

  • Spending time with family

  • Other


Caring Transitions, a senior relocation service, suggests that before deciding whether downsizing or rightsizing is best for you, you should consider five key needs:

Physical health. You or your spouse may have some health or mobility issues that make living in your current house more difficult. But even if you have excellent physical health now, you need to make sure your residence can accommodate potential future health or age-related needs.

Mental well-being. Maintenance and upkeep can be stressful and costly. Living too far away from activities and opportunities that keep you intellectually stimulated can impact brain health. And living where you’re isolated from others can increase your risk of cognitive decline. Seeking a residence that reduces your stress and increases the likelihood of improving your mental health is vital — no matter what the square footage is.

Financial plans. Many seniors worry about outliving their retirement funds. So as you evaluate your housing choices, factor in monthly expenses that come with each, as well as potential age-related home modifications and health care costs, so you can see how they’ll impact your finances in the long term.

Family. It’s common for seniors to move closer to family so they can spend more time together. If your adult children are spread out around the country, you’ll need to decide whether to move closer to one of them or to a more central location with a convenient travel hub.

Lifestyle. What kind of lifestyle do you want? If you want to focus on travel, you may want to find a smaller residence to serve as your home base. If you want to open your doors to family, friends and out-of-town guests, a place with extra room for hosting and entertaining may be in order.

What Now?

Knowing the difference between downsizing and rightsizing makes a big difference in the practical aspects of making a move — and in your mindset about it. Author Gottberg sums it up this way: “Rightsizing is about being honest with yourself enough to figure out what you are spending money on and whether that money is worth the time, effort and spirit you invest earning it. Best of all, rightsizing is about finding what brings your life meaning, makes you smile, and allows you to sleep well and deeply every single night. If you don’t have that now, maybe it’s time to rightsize your life.”


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