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Aging in place? Downsizing? Decluttering? Moving? These topics can give pause to those of us of a certain age. Syndicated columnist and author Marni Jameson reframes those terms with an alternative choice: rightsizing. So forget downsizing. Instead focus on what is the right size home for your lifestyle going forward. And Marni Jameson expands the menu of options to include upsizing, same-sizing and bright-sizing as you consider where to live next.
Marni Jameson joins us from Florida.
Marni Jameson is the author of Rightsize Today to Create Your Best Life Tomorrow: A Motivational Guide for Those Seeking Their Ideal Home Later in Life. Marni is a nationally syndicated home-design columnist, award-winning journalist, speaker, and frequent TV guest. Her humorous and helpful column, “At Home with Marni Jameson,” appears weekly in two dozen papers nationwide, reaching several million readers and more through social media and her blog. Her fans include readers who have been following the author’s home adventures for two decades. She has been featured on such primetime shows as NBC Nightly News and Martha Stewart Living. As one reviewer wrote, “Think Erma Bombeck meets Rachael Ray in one humble yet helpful package.” She is the author of seven books, including Downsizing the Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go, a #1 Amazon bestseller that won numerous awards.
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“It’s really about what do you need in your life going forward. I like to define right-sizing as moving to or creating a home that is the perfect physical, emotional, social and financial fit. So I think about four puzzle pieces, the physical…the emotional… the social and it’s got to be financially comfortable for you, obviously, or that’s not going to work. So all that has to click. What happens is that people get to the sort of freedom threshold, their late fifties, early sixties where they are no longer commuting to a job. They may have bought the house they live in because it was near their work or near their kids’ schools or the schools they wanted their kids to attend. And fast forward 20, 30 years we’re about where you are and the kids are out of the house. The schools don’t really matter to you anymore or at all, and you are working remotely or you’re retired or you’re planning to retire or you can work from anywhere. And so why are you living in this house that has five bedrooms and you still have your kids’ Cub Scout uniforms in the attic? I mean, this is nuts. So really start envisioning what would you do. What would it look like? What would your house be like? Do you want more bedrooms so you can have the grandkids stay with you? Do you want fewer because nobody’s coming anymore? You want to lock and go travel?”
On Challenges in Rightsizing
“The biggest obstacles I hear people have are it’s just too much trouble. I have too much furniture, or there are too many memories here. And this sort of complacency kicks in this inertia and people get weighed down by stuff. It makes me sad that their stuff would be preventing them from living their best life in the best place for them. But you look to a point, you need to learn how to let go and just keep evolving and stop living in the past and live for now and the future because darling, that’s all we’ve got.”
On Upsizing & Same Sizing
“The variety of ways to right size include is not limited to smaller, I had a couple…that had a beautiful house on the lake where they raised their kids and they had a lot of parties, but it was too big. After the kids left, they sold that house and bought two, they bought a small lock-up and go house in Florida where they’re from, and they bought another small house in Wisconsin where their first grandbaby was going to be born. So they now have two houses for the price of one. It’s worked beautifully for them. Others have upsized. They just really wanted that bigger house. They always lived a little too tight. The grandkids are coming. It’s actually a third of people who buy a house after age 55 upsize. Half, either same size or upsize. So that’s why it’s rightsizing. It’s not about downsizing, it’s really, really about what you need, what you can afford, and what’s a good fit.”
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About Your Podcast Host
Joe Casey is an executive coach who also helps people design their next life after their primary career and create their version of The Multipurpose Retirement.™ He created his own next chapter after a twenty-six-year career at Merrill Lynch, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of HR for Global Markets & Investment Banking. Today, in addition to his work with clients, Joe hosts The Retirement Wisdom Podcast, which thanks to his guests and loyal listeners, ranks in the top 1 % globally in popularity by Listen Notes, with over 1 million downloads. Business Insider has recognized Joe as one of 23 innovative coaches who are making a difference. He’s the author of Win the Retirement Game: How to Outsmart the 9 Forces Trying to Steal Your Joy.