Written by Abbie Dodd

It doesn’t always pay to follow the herd. Some retirees are challenging the logic of downsizing and even going as far as doing the exact opposite, and upsizing instead.

Family demographics and attitudes are changing which calls for a new way of thinking or to at least challenge the logic of downsizing as you get older. You might actually need a bigger home for your growing family or lifestyle.

Here is a look at the options available to empty nesters and why upsizing is proving popular amongst some retirees. There is an overview of the downsizing culture and why baby boomers are challenging that convention, plus arguments why upsizing appeals to some.

Baby boomers are changing the rules

One thing that might be associated with the baby boomer generation is mortgage loan ease and access to credit that fueled a rise in the number of people owning their own home.

Plenty in this demographic have now reached retirement age and are contemplating their options having built up some equity in their home. The traditional logic has been to sell the family home so you can move to somewhere smaller and without stairs, plus bank some cash from the equity built up in the property after the mortgage has been paid off.

This all sounds sensible and reasonable as a strategy and it works for many in that situation.

However, it seems that despite expecting to follow this traditional route in their golden years, some retirees in fact do the opposite, buying something bigger that will cope with their children and grandchildren when they come to visit.

There are numerous surveys suggesting that as many as two-thirds of baby boomers either have no intention of moving at all or would consider the idea of actually buying something bigger, not smaller.

Not ready to retire

It is not that straightforward when trying to pinpoint the exact reasons why people who are entering their senior years decide not to follow the traditional route of downsizing and moving to a sunnier climate.

A plausible explanation would be the fact that many of us are living longer and therefore might not feel ready for that senior lifestyle, despite reaching an age that qualifies for that status.

This is a generation that generally seems to be confident and comfortable with carrying mortgage debt when they are approaching retirement age. You might be someone who prioritizes paying off the mortgage as quickly as possible but apparently there are plenty of seniors who are prepared to carry on paying a loan if it means they can continue to enjoy their current home, or even move to a bigger one.

Active lifestyle

The idea of upsizing seems to appeal to a core number of baby boomers who are keen to enjoy an active lifestyle for as long as possible, which means they want to be where they can play golf, go skiing and enjoy a wide range of social activities.

If these means upsizing to be near to the action or it suits their family lifestyle, then a growing number are asking, why should we downsize?

Abbie Dodd writes articles about real estate topics. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a retiree ready to downsize. She has worked in the real estate industry for several years.


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