Five Delightful Upsides to Downsizing

The big insurance benefits of going smaller in your home
Written by Sara East
Written by Sara East

Insurance doesn’t have to be boring. That’s why we hired Sara East to be our BA insurance writer. Maggie specializes in making mundane subjects hella-entertaining.

Reviewer: Jeffrey Green Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
Reviewer: Jeffrey Green
Reviewed by Jeffrey Green

Jeff Green has held a variety of sales and management roles at life insurance companies, Wall street firms, and distribution organizations over his 40-year career.  He was previously Finra 7,24,66 registered and held life insurance licenses in multiple states. He is a graduate of Stony Brook University.

Thoughtful mature couple relaxing by window at home. 7 Delightful Upsides to Downsizing.

People downsize for a number of reasons — the kids have left home, their income has changed, their priorities have shifted, or simply because they want to. The good news is that going small can have some big benefits when it comes to home insurance. Ultimately it could save you some money on your insurance premiums.

Whether you're hoping to downsize, have already downsized, or are in the process, an independent insurance agent can help you adjust your home insurance to fit your new lifestyle. 

Five Delightful Upsides to Downsizing

In recent years, 12 percent of home buyers between ages 45 and 64 were downsizing for various reasons. There are multiple benefits of downsizing from things that impact your everyday life to your insurance needs. Here are five ways that downsizing can be a great move.

1. The opportunity to move to a new climate

If you've spent the better half of your life living in a climate where it snows, then you're no stranger to snow blowing your driveway and shoveling your deck after every winter storm. Sometimes you can't even leave your home until the city plows have come through the neighborhood. 

One primary reason that people downsize is to fulfill a lifelong dream to move to warmer weather. Relocating to the sunny shores of Florida or the deserts of Arizona will surely eliminate the need for shoveling snow. It also provides year-round access to fresh air and exercise to remain in optimal health for years to come.

2. Relocation closer to activities and interests

If you've lived in the suburbs or rural areas your whole life, downsizing can provide an opportunity to be closer to amenities. Whether it's a shortened commute or access to golf courses and hiking trails, you can choose the location you downsize to and make sure it provides easy access to activities and your interests.

This type of downsizing might be a condo on the beach or a condo a few steps from the office, but the possibilities of hunting down that perfect property are endless. Many individuals also choose to relocate closer to family they've lived far away from for years.

3. Planning for later needs

A wise financial move is to downsize in order to plan ahead for anticipated needs as you age. Removing clutter and choosing a smaller one-story home can set you up to age in your own home. Three out of four Americans over the age of 50 hope to stay in their homes as long as possible.

As we age, there is also an increased need for access to medical care and public transportation. Downsizing also allows you to start saving money you'd be putting into staying in a larger home. These finances can be beneficial if you ever need in-home nursing care, which can get expensive.

4. Downsizing can lead to fewer expenses

Large homes come with large expenses. You need more home insurance to cover your property and your possessions, and you have greater financial risks should something go wrong. Downsizing can result in fewer expenses in several ways:

  • It trims monthly utility bills including water, heat, electricity, etc.
  • It lowers tax bills in most cases, depending on your community
  • It reduces insurance premiums

This can be extremely important if you're on a fixed income and strict budget later on in life.

5. A chance to minimize risk and lower insurance premiums

If a fire were to burn down a million-dollar home, you'd need enough insurance to replace those costs. But if your home is worth $250,000, it's going to cost much less to insure. 

Less home space leads to less risk and value for your carrier to have to insure, which means your premiums should decrease as well, assuming your new home doesn’t add on extra risks that weren’t there before.

To keep costs low when downsizing, avoid a home with a pool or other attractive nuisance, install modern safety measures, and work with your agent to understand what may be impacting your costs. 

How Can an Independent Insurance Agent Help?

For many people, downsizing space equates to upsized opportunities. Downsizing does not need to mean downgrading. If you're looking to adjust your lifestyle and home size, an independent insurance agent can help.

You can start with a discussion, free of charge, about your home plans and needs. An agent can review your existing policy, make changes, or find you a new policy if necessary. They'll compare costs and coverages for you and make sure your policy is suited to fit your life, wherever it takes you.

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