Downsizing – sizing it up – three things to measure! Posted on March 28, 2018April 9, 2018 by Celia Bowring You’ve lived in the same place for decades – maybe raised a family in it, run a small business, created a place that’s really you. And now it’s time to move. Lyndon and I are going through this after 32 years – we’re planning to downsize to a two-bed terraced cottage in the same locality. Believe me, it’s complicated and we’ve had lots to think about before taking the plunge and, putting our beloved home on the market with a mixture of sadness and anticipation. Location, location, location! Is the world your oyster? Does the south of France appeal? A Highland croft, a city mansion, a rural roses-over-the-door cottage…? Is God calling you to a far-flung mission field or asking you to get stuck in at the church you’ve always attended? Your choices might be fairly restricted – or impossibly wide. It sounds obvious, but before sticking a pin in a map it will help to create a wish list that matches how you see life unfolding in the afterwork years. Money You may have more financial flexibility than ever: with the mortgage paid off, various pension options, fewer outgoings, reduced responsibilities. Or not – money might be tight. In any event professional advice is key as you probably have way more choices than you realised. New opportunities for financial management are coming out all the time targeting the baby-boomer generation. Provision for possible future fulltime care, wise ways to leave your money after you die, freeing up money now to live fulfilling lives are all vitally important to think about as you plan to downsize. Ideal Home? What’s your wishlist? Believe that God will provide just the right place for you and pray in faith for specifics. Your new abode will probably fulfil different purposes now. Do you plan on being super-hospitable or fancy a smaller space just for you? It’s not just a question of how many bedrooms but the layout of downstairs living space too. Open plan or secluded spaces to cook, eat, study, relax? What about the outside – do you plan growing your own veg or fancy a small patio with the odd pot of geraniums? This process will take time and its wise to seek the wisdom of others you trust and who know you well. And even if you’re not planning to downsize soon – its never too early to start decluttering!! Watch this space. Celia Bowring Celia isn’t retired yet – although she’s recently changed from being office-based to working from home, so working out her own use of time. Celia writes the CARE Prayer Diary along with many other resources. She also chairs Pray for Schools. And loves being a hands-on grandmother!