Downsizing in retirement is a popular trend for retirees who want to cut back on expenses and simplify their lives. For some, downsizing comes with a new home, a new community, and fewer expenses. For others, it also means getting rid of the things they no longer use.
If you plan on downsizing too when you retire, here are some of the things you might want to sell to declutter your home and make some extra money for your retirement savings. As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
A crucial aspect of your retirement is the place where you want to spend your golden years. If you choose to relocate to a more retiree-friendly location, you might need to sell your current home. It’s one of your most valuable assets, if not the most valuable one, so don’t take it lightly.
If you sell your place you can use the money to purchase a smaller house that meets your needs in retirement. Of course, you can also rent a place and save the remaining money. “Living in a smaller space can reduce the mortgage payment, and cost less for utilities, property taxes, and maintenance”, says Tim Kennedy, a mortgage loan originator and reverse mortgage specialist with US Mortgage Corp.
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Once your 9 to 5 days are over, there’s no need for you to wear your office clothes. It’s not like you’re going to the supermarket every day dressed in business attire. Instead of just keeping them inside your closet, you can sell them and make some extra money. Keep one suit or formal attire for special events and sell the rest online, on websites such as Poshmark and thredUP or at a local consignment shop.
If you decide to move to a smaller place, your old workout equipment might not fit into your new home. Instead of hiding it inside a garage, you could sell it and get some of your money back.
However, if you don’t plan on downsizing, it might still be a good idea to sell your old stationary bike or treadmill. That’s because you can focus on other exercise options such as the SilverSneakers senior fitness program included in your Medicare Advantage Plan. The program provides various facilities at select gyms in your town and free fitness classes, so you won’t be needing your old exercise equipment.
Having a car is not cheap. Even if you’ve finished making all the payments for it, you still need money to cover for gas, insurance, maintenance and repairs costs. If you and your spouse both drive cars, the costs are double. A great way to trim such costs is to sell one of the cars.
It is unlikely that you’ll both need cars in retirement, so it might be cheaper to just keep one or use rideshare services or public transportation from time to time. Read also 7 Car Dealer Tricks Used at End-of-Year Sales.
If you intend on downsizing, it might be better to get rid of the larger furniture that might no longer fit into your smaller place. Websites such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace are perfect when it comes to selling your furniture online, but you can also go for the traditional way and sell it to a consignment shop or used furniture store.
If you bought a new computer but still keep your old one just in case, it might be time to let it go. Instead of turning it into a piece of furniture that’s only collecting dust, turn it into something that will help you collect cash. You can either get a gift card if you sell your old computer to Best Buy with its Trade-In service or go to online marketplaces such as Flipsy and find your future buyer there.
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Your children’s toys
Your children’s toys may have sentimental value, but it does not mean you have to keep all of them. Some of them could be collectibles and bring you more money than you could think of. Gather the toys you are willing to part with and do a quick search on the internet to find out their value. You can easily find buyers for them on sites like Ebay.
Book collections look good on shelves, I’ll give you that. But apart from looking good, some books just take up space, never to be read again. Instead of keeping all sorts of books that you know you’ll never open again, keep only the ones with sentimental value or the one you intend to re-read and sell the rest.
One great way to put your books up for sale is through Amazon’s Trade-In program but you can also go to local bookstores that purchase used books.
Collectibles and antiques
Speaking of things that just sit there and collect dust, if you have collectibles and antiques that no longer fit your smaller home, you should try to sell them just like books. You can assess their value online and sell the ones that would be worth more to you if you turned them into cash for your nest egg.
“With antiques, small scratches and evidence of light wear and tear can actually increase the value slightly, but structural damage and other repairs can be costly and dissuade sellers,” said Jacquie Denny, founder of Everything But The House (EBTH), an online estate sale service. “All these complicating factors are part of why it’s important to work with a reputable appraiser.”
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Handbags you no longer use
If you’re a woman, you’ve probably gathered your fair share of handbags and purses over the years. And just like most women, you probably only use one or two frequently. So why not cash in on the rest of them?
Handbags can be sold for really good money, particularly designer ones such as Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Not only these designer handbags have a high resale price, but their value tends to increase in time, if we were to listen to Who What Wear. See also 12 Items You Should Never Carry in Your Bag.
Old mobile phones and electronics
If you’re like most of us, you probably have old mobile phones stashed inside a drawer, somewhere in your house. If you relocate to a new but smaller home, there’s no need to bring your old things with you, especially if you no longer use them. The solution? Sell!
You could receive hundreds of dollars for your used phone, especially if it’s in good condition. You can sell your phone online via Best Buy Trade-In, Flipsy, Amazon Trade-In, Gazelle and other similar sites. The same goes for old electronics you’re no longer using, such as tablets or TVs. Cash in by selling them instead of keeping them around for nothing.
“Most devices still have value even if they are broken or damaged, as long as they are fully functional and just have a broken screen or need to replace a battery or button,” said Michele Perry, a consumer tech expert at electronics resale site Gazelle.com.