Archive for the ‘Downsizing’ Category

How to Decide Where to Live in Retirement

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

How to Decide Where to Live in Retirement | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThe kids are grown, the grandchildren are coming along, and soon you’ll reap the rewards of your lifetime of work. It’s called retirement. But even though you’ve planned for this major change in your life, there are still important decisions to make – including where you’ll spend your retirement years.

To make an informed decision about a future home, whether it’s in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton region or elsewhere, here’s a brief guideline courtesy of Investors Group:


Will you stay in the home where you raised your children? There may be a deep emotional attachment to the home and the neighbourhood.

Size of home

A smaller home is easier to maintain, with lower utility costs and taxes. But, consider a new home purchase carefully. Perhaps that money is better off in investments that increase your cash flow and your estate.

Buy or rent?

Downsizing to condos or apartments can be an attractive lifestyle choice. The costs of major repairs at condominiums are shared among owners, and repairs are the building owner’s responsibility. On the downside, you may find you’re living too close to neighbours or that condo fees are too steep.

Summer and winter homes

Many Canadians decide to winter in warmer southern climates. If you choose to follow these snowbirds, will you own or rent your residences in Canada and the United States? This decision depends on your personal situation, so you should consult a tax advisor.

Your health

If you have no current health problems, maintaining your present home may be practical. But if health concerns are a consideration, you may want to look at housing options that offer various levels of assisted living.

Your income

Before you begin to make decisions, you’ll want a clear picture of your overall financial situation. You need to review your projected income levels from all sources, including pensions and investments.

Most of all, choose a home where you will be happy in your retirement. Additional information about the varied financial options is available at and be sure to talk to a financial advisor for professional assistance.

Helping my clients find the right home for whatever life stage they’re in is what I do best!   Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.

(Contents of this article courtesy of

Editor Note: This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), and Investors Group Securities Inc. (in Québec, a firm in Financial Planning) presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. For more information on this topic please contact an Investors Group Consultant.

Is It Time to Downsize?

Friday, September 10th, 2010

If you are one of those rare people who travels light through life, this article may not be for you.  But if you are like most people, and you’ve been in your home for a while, the thought of downsizing has probably crossed your mind, especially if your family and life circumstances have changed since you first moved into your home, whether in Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, Parkland County, the Edmonton area or elsewhere.

 There are many good reasons to downsize:

  • saving money on home upkeep, insurance, taxes and utilities
  • unloading some of the “stuff” most of us can’t help accumulating on our life’s journey but which we find we no longer need
  • lessening our impact on the environment
  • simplifying our daily routines to save time for more interesting and enriching activities
  • preparing for a time when someone else may have to look after our affairs and possessions

Is It Time to Downsize? |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamBefore you can downsize your home to a smaller place, you will probably need to downsize inside your home first, getting rid of many everyday objects found there.  This can be extraordinarily difficult.  The truth is that downsizing and de-cluttering often come with a huge pile of emotional baggage.  Making the decision to part with property and possessions you’ve used and loved for a long time, each item attached to memories, can be a wrenching experience.  Sometimes the sheer volume of physical and emotional “stuff” can be so overwhelming that it’s hard to even begin.

Most experts will tell you to start with a small space, like a closet or even a small room.  They suggest you remove everything from the area and sort items into several piles, with the ultimate goal being to throw away the trash, give away or sell things you no longer need or want but which still have some value, and keep only those items you really love and use.  Sounds sensible and simple enough, right?  Most of these experts will also provide you with all kinds of motivational prods to force you to get past your objections (“My grandmother made that old quilt!”  “I might have a use for that tool some day!”), along with questionnaires to help you decide what kind of hoarder you are and which pile something belongs in.

The fact is that none of this advice is going to be worth much until you are sure that you need or want to downsize in the first place.

A thought-provoking article published in the Montreal Gazette (“Boomers upsizing their downsizing plans”) suggests that maybe we shouldn’t be too hasty in automatically assuming that downsizing is for everybody.  Baby boomers once again are doing things a little differently from previous generations.  Some people when they reach a certain age are discovering that it actually makes sense to move into a bigger home, albeit one with a floor plan more geared to their current and future physical needs (for example, a bungalow with an open floor plan rather than a multi-level home), while others decide to keep the family home but renovate it to accommodate changing situations.  There are a number of reasons for this interesting trend:

  • Family dynamics have changed. Children are taking longer to leave the nest, or are returning to the family home after relationship break-ups and the like. There are also many people in late middle age who find themselves raising their grandchildren.
  • Work lives have changed. Some people realize they don’t want to retire in the way previous generations did. Instead they decide to modify their work so that more is done from home. This creates the need for a home work space.
  • Many older adults have the money to continue to enjoy the quality of life that comes from living in a larger private space. This might include making room in the home for hobbies, exercise, more entertaining, etc.
  • Keeping a house rather than moving to a condo or some other kind of communal living space may make good economic sense as equity in homes continues to rise.

So … to downsize or not?  Maybe our reluctance to part with possessions has less to do with procrastination and more to do with the need to make practical, realistic life choices.

If you’ve made the decision to downsize and you are interested in looking at smaller properties in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area, please contact me here, email me at, or phone 780-910-9669. 

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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