Retirees Living Large by Going Small?

Mark Gyorfy

Paul Safranek, the occupational therapist who decides to "go small" in the 2017 film Downsizing, learns that adjusting to a new lifestyle can come with its trials and tribulations. While retiring early and relocating to a warmer climate didn't go as he initially anticipated, Safranek learns to adjust to his surroundings and is able to find new meaning in the life he lives after downsizing.

Retirees in the real world may find themselves looking for a change soon after they reach retirement age. Just like in Downsizing, one of those changes may be one's living situation. Relocating, downsizing to a smaller home, or moving in with a family member are a few alternatives that many retirees consider, but it's important that they do some research before making a decision says Christine Russell, a retirement savings and long-term investing professional at TD Ameritrade.

"Downsizing can be a financial relief, but it's important to verify the math before committing to a move," explains Russell. "Retirees should use caution, especially if they are making a decision in the wake of a major life event. Hidden expenses abound when moving, so grab a friend or trusted advisor to help you think through all the potential costs both during and after your move."

New data from a survey conducted for TD Ameritrade shows that retirees are likely to change their living situation if they haven't already. According to the investor pulse survey, 42 percent of Americans plan to downsize in retirement. Furthermore:

  • 25 percent plan on moving to a warmer climate;
  • 17 percent plan to move closer to family; and
  • Just 6 percent plan on moving to a senior living community

Russell recommends those who are retired or who are approaching retirement age focus on how they want to spend the time in their lives when they are truly in control. Factoring in key considerations when it comes to downsizing is a great first step toward the next milestone.

"If it makes sense for you, downsizing can be the change you need to kick start your next thirty years," Russell continues. "New friends, fun activities and having a fresh start, while also tackling expenses can allow individuals to focus on what matters most to them. Retirement can be the time to craft your vibrant and fulfilling life."

Survey conducted by True North Market Insights
True North Market Insights is a full-service survey research firm dedicated to providing public and private entities with a clear understanding of the opinions, perceptions, priorities, and behaviors of their residents, voters, customers, employees, and stakeholders. TD Ameritrade and True North Market Insights are separate and unaffiliated firms and are not responsible for each other's services or policies.

About the Investor Pulse Survey
A 15-minute online survey was conducted with 1,005 American adult investors by True North Market Insights, between January 2 and January 12, 2018, on behalf of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation. The statistical margin of error for the total sample of N= 1,005 American adults within the target group is +/- 2.6 percent.

Third party intellectual property is the property of its respective owners.

TD Ameritrade and the producers and owners of Downsizing are separate and unaffiliated and not responsible for each other's services or products. TD Ameritrade is not sponsored, endorsed, or associated with the producers and owners of Downsizing in any way.