Many seniors today understand the importance of downsizing, especially younger seniors – who may have had the experience of going through their parents’ estates and have sworn “never to do it to my kids.” Getting started is easier said than done, though.
“Generally, people don’t view downsizing as a particularly enjoyable task,” says Kevin Defayette, Executive Director of Waterstone at the Circle. “If you have a lifetime of stuff to sort through, it can seem like a daunting challenge. The good news is that downsizing doesn’t have to be painful, rushed or something to dread. By adjusting your thinking to view downsizing as an opportunity for you to build your best possible tomorrow – and putting together a plan to make that happen – you’ll probably approach the process with a much more positive attitude.”
Kevin says that the earlier you downsize – in other words, before you need to do it – the better off you will be across the board. “Downsizing your stuff and your space sooner rather than later provides you with choices,” he says. “You’re better able to think through your options, do your research and thoughtfully take steps towards a retirement lifestyle that won’t just be good … but great. It will be a lifestyle that is truly desired.”
One of the first things to think about when downsizing is how you’d like to live the next chapter of your life. “Most of us have dreams and ideas of what we’ll do when we hit retirement age. Now’s the time to take a look at those dreams and start taking steps to making them a reality,” Kevin says.
Think about what you want to do when you finally have the free time. Travel the world? Visit friends and family? Volunteer to a worthy cause? The opportunities are endless, and having an idea of where you want to go will help you find the perfect place to downsize.
“For example, if you want to take a lot of trips across the country or even the globe, you may want to downsize to a smaller home or senior living community that’s in a large city,” Kevin says. “That way, you’ll have a variety of options when it comes to travel. Waterstone at the Circle is located centrally in the Boston area, which puts our community near international airports, transit systems and interstate highways – perfect for our residents who want to get out and explore the world. Plus, residents don’t need to worry about their home here while they’re traveling.”
After you’ve decided what you want your retirement life to look like, it’s time to look at where you’d like to downsize. Some people want to move to a smaller home that will require less maintenance and upkeep. Another option is to move into a retirement community that can provide the lifestyle you want both now – and in the future.
“Today’s senior living communities aren’t just for old people,” says Kevin. “They’ve been designed with the new senior in mind, creating an amazing, maintenance-free lifestyle that younger, newly retired older adults will embrace whole-heartedly. Not only do these communities offer the lifestyle you want without any of the chores, but it also allows you to age in place because there are services and amenities on-site that can flex with your changing needs as you get older.”
The idea of moving into a retirement community may seem like a big step for a younger senior, but Kevin says that many residents at The Circle wish they had made the move sooner. “I haven’t heard anyone yet say that they wish they’d waited to move here,” he jokes. “A lot of the people who live at The Circle enjoy the freedom and services they receive a lot more than they expected. Some of them say it actually gives them more independence than they had living on their own.”
Downsizing early also allows you to get your affairs in order and gives you the push you need to get rid of stuff that you know needs throwing out, but you just haven’t gotten around to doing it. “It allows you to get rid of items that you rarely – or never – use but you’ve kept simply because you have the space. It gives you the chance to completely rethink your living space and keep only what you need and the pieces in your home that truly inspire you,” says Kevin.
It’s also important to remember that downsizing now doesn’t have to mean forever. “That’s one of the reasons why we designed Waterstone at the Circle as a rental retirement community,” he says. “Since most people’s retirement years can stretch twenty or thirty years or more, what’s right for you today may not be right tomorrow. Although we sincerely hope our residents will choose to live our lifestyle through all their senior years, we also appreciate that flexibility and freedom are very important. We don’t make residents sign huge contracts or require a large deposit in order to become a member of our community. This provides a lot of flexibility for our residents, and we can tell how much they appreciate that.”
Ultimately, downsizing early empowers seniors and retirees to build the life they want, not just the life they need. “You’re in charge of every decision, from the very minute to the very large,” Kevin says. “It gives you time to think through what you’re doing, which allows you to step into your future confidently, knowing that you’ve made the right choice for you.”
If downsizing sounds like it might be on your 2021 to-do list, Kevin says that it’s good to tackle it just one small step at a time. “Downsizing can take a lot longer than you think, and that’s just the going-through-the-stuff phase,” he says. “It’s a good idea to give yourself a vague deadline, but don’t make yourself feel rushed. You want time to work through everything, come to a decision and finally put plans in motion on your own terms.”
Think of it as a new adventure, he says – one that will, hopefully, set you up for success for the rest of your long, happy, healthy life.
Luxury Senior Living in Boston
Waterstone at the Circle, located in Boston’s historic Cleveland Circle neighborhood, is more than just independent living in Boston … it's a sophisticated urban setting for today’s active seniors. Enjoy best-in-class service and an urban lifestyle with arts and cultural, and historical attractions right outside your front door. From high-end amenities to gourmet dining and more, experience the best of city and suburban life at our upscale senior living community located on the crossroads of Brookline and Chestnut Hill.
Elegant Independent Living Apartments
Each of our 92 independent living apartments is the height of luxury and modernity, with sophisticated design, upscale features and stunning views of the city. Create the urban senior living experience you want with one- or two-bedroom apartments, a variety of floor plans and monthly rentals.
Senior Living Supportive Services
As an over-62 community, residents may require support from time to time. That’s why we’ve developed an on-site coordinated care program, in cooperation with our premier community partners, that allows our independent living residents to receive the assistance they need.
The best part? Residents don’t have to leave our senior living community – or even their apartment – to receive high-quality support. They can receive the services they need, when they need it, in the comfort of their own homes or in our on-site therapy gym.
Waterstone at the Circle is the opposite of retiring . . . it’s a place to enhance your active, on-the-go lifestyle. Call 617.431.1880 for more information or to schedule a visit to our premier Boston independent living community and discover The Circle lifestyle today!