Senior and Millennial Downsizing Trends
There’s More in Common than You Think.
Although there’s a gap in generations, today’s seniors and millennials share a similar desire to downsize, declutter, and simplify their homes and finances.
In 2016, the average size of homes purchased by millennials and seniors differed by just a few square feet. That makes sense, considering that one of the main reasons seniors are seeking new places to live is the “desire for a smaller home.” Also, 47 percent of seniors say they would consider selling their homes and renting an apartment, and 40 percent plan to move within the next five years, much like their millennial counterparts.
An Ageless Trend
So, why is this downsizing trend getting more popular? It could be because these smaller homes speak to two great motivators of human behavior: cash and convenience.
The Economic Case
According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, taxes, insurance, upkeep, and utility bills typically run about 3.25 percent of the value of a house, so naturally, a smaller home will help cut down on the actual cost of living.
Reclaiming “You” Time
If you spend just four hours a week on general upkeep around the house, that totals 208 hours per year, which, over the course of 10 years, becomes 2,080 hours, or 87 days. Time is a precious commodity, and people across a range of demographic groups—millennials and seniors alike—are beginning to realize that spending it with family, enjoying time with friends, being active, and learning new things is a far more rewarding way to approach life than filling it up with routine maintenance tasks.
There’s a third factor driving the downsizing trend: a shifting mindset that says that less might actually be more. In fact, the “declutter and simplify” movement has gained considerable momentum of late. The website The Minimalists is dedicated to “clearing clutter from life’s path” and has become so popular that the founders have spun their philosophy into films, books, and a podcast. Organizing consultant Marie Kondo has penned a series of New York Times bestsellers lauding the physical and psychological benefits of leading a clutter-free life, equating tidiness with “life-changing magic.” For millennials, “living simply” is a platform from which to launch. For seniors, who have spent much of their lives accumulating, it can be a goal to which to aspire.
Of course, often, the items a person accumulates are part of one’s lifestyle and personal identity. They’re memories. Luckily, for seniors, there’s a perfect way to downsize while giving up nothing, and to simplify while continuing to live richly.
Senior Home Downsizing
Modern senior living communities are proving to be the perfect way for seniors to experience all of the benefits of downsizing, simplifying, and decluttering without giving up all the things that made living in their homes so special, like the friendship of close neighbors, a space that suits their personal needs and accommodates their own sense of style, and the freedom to live as they like.
At Blakehurst in Towson, Maryland, we’ve created an elegant, full-service senior living community where you can downsize without compromise. Surrounded by winding walking paths that showcase our gorgeous landscaping and resident-tended gardens, Blakehurst lies on over 40 lush acres just minutes from the excitement of Baltimore city life. Everything a downsizing senior could want can be found here: an indoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, restaurant-style dining, intellectually stimulating lifelong learning opportunities, and planned excursions to local and regional destinations. Plus, our unique LifeCare® program allows residents to reside in the appropriate level of care—such as assisted living or comprehensive care—at virtually no additional cost beyond the monthly fee for their independent living residence. We also offer multiple versions of our Return-of-Capital® Plan that refund a percentage of the original entrance payment, no matter how long residents stay.
Here, we support and understand all of the benefits of decluttering for seniors and take them seriously. Our move-in coordinator can help you connect with experts who specialize in helping seniors get organized. These professionals will work with you to eliminate clutter and provide hands-on assistance in the transition process, overseeing the details on your moving day and helping you settle into your new home.