Downsizing Offers Advantages

Is it time to sell that big family home and move to smaller quarters? Eleven percent of people age 55 to 64 are making plans to downsize within three years, according to a Forbes report on a MetLife Mature Market Institute study.

Sale prices are headed back up from the declines we saw between Dec. 1, 2005 and Aug. 1, 2010. The national average sales price increased 7.9% from $179,000 to $193,000 for the year ending December 1, 2010, according to

Downsizing should help stretch retirement funds due to a smaller mortgage loan or no mortgage, lower taxes, lower insurance premiums, and lower utility bills. Adults-only communities usually provide yard and exterior home maintenance for a fee. Retirees also can save money by moving to an area with a lower cost of living. Visit Yahoo! Real Estate ( to scout home prices in areas where you may want to resettle.

You also should research taxes in areas you are considering. The Retirement Living Information Center ( provides state comparisons for income tax, property tax, sales tax, and even fuel tax. Twenty-seven states do not tax Social Security income. Several states give tax breaks for military pensions and other retirement income. And some states provide property tax breaks aimed at helping retirees.

When it’s time to downsize, look at the floor plan for your new home and decide what fits and what doesn’t. Then decide what to keep, give, sell, donate, store, or toss. It may take some work, but downsizing can be rewarding—both personally and financially.

And remember, whether you stay or relocate, you can maintain all your familiar Hopewell Federal Credit Union services. Talk to us about how we can serve you no matter what your address is.


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