3 Financial Mistakes Empty-Nesters Make While Downsizing


After the kids leave home, it’s normal to fly into a flurry of activity. If you’ve been planning on downsizing, now is the time to do it. During the process, though, things tend to move a lot faster than you’d expect, and it’s easy to make money mistakes as you go. Unfortunately, these money mistakes can have long-term consequences.

Don’t Make These 3 Money Mistakes While Downsizing

Whether you waited a few years after the kids went off to college or you were pushing them out the door, these three money mistakes are very real risks during the downsizing process:

1. Waiting Too Long To Sell Your Current Home

Wait too long to sell your family home and you’ll find yourself in a rush when the time comes. This is especially true if you live in a large home, and find it totally impractical to maintain once the kids are gone. Instead of waiting until your kids walk out the door, start thinking about selling your home before the kids leave. This will help prevent uncomfortable delays in the process.

2. Assuming Not Having Kids In the House Makes for Financial Freedom

While not having kids in the home may free up some of your finances, it likely won’t make a huge difference in your monthly spending. Because of this, it’s smart to base any budgets you’re making during the downsizing process on your existing monthly expenses, not what you think they’ll look like once the kids are gone. The latter can easily set you up for financial trouble.

3. Leaving Repairs until the Last Minute

If your home has repairs or renovations it needs made, do these while the kids are still in the house. While this isn’t always possible (especially if the renovations you need to make are in one of the children’s bedrooms or a shared space, for example), it’s by far the best and most forward-thinking way to approach home improvement.

This prevents you from running into an ugly financial surprise down the road and makes it easier to plan for your new lifestyle from a realistic foundation. What’s more, doing the renovations early may make for a faster sale and higher final home price.

Smarter Money Management Starts Here

Downsizing is an exciting process, and it marks the next big phase in your life. For it to be a responsible process, though, you’ve got to be careful to avoid common financial mistakes. From planning for a budget that doesn’t exist to waiting too long to sell or renovate the family home, there are lots of ways a simple downsize can turn into a massive headache. Luckily, knowing what to avoid can help you streamline your process. You’ll then enjoy a smoother transition into your new life as a kid-free couple!