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Time flies. Just yesterday you were setting up your home for a growing family. Today, however the story has changed. Your children are grown and have homes of their own, often hours away.

While we don’t dream about downsizing, as we get older there are some distinct advantages. There is minimal maintenance, cleaning and yard work. The time and money formerly earmarked for these tasks can now be spent elsewhere. ‘Less is more’ is beginning to look pretty appealing.

According to HGTV, downsizing often has to do with a desire to live simpler, whether you’re retiring or just want an eco-friendly, low-maintenance lifestyle. When children grow up and move out of the family home, for example, Mom and Dad are left with an empty nest that’s often too big for them.

While your home holds a great deal of memories, you may find that practicality outweighs the sentimental value. The question is, how will you know it’s time to downsize. Bankrate offers these five signs:

  • The maintenance is too much. A well-maintained home requires a lot of work. As you get older
    you may not be able to keep up with all that needs to be done.
  • Mobility issues are making it harder to get around.
  • You are retired and would like to relocate to be closer to your children and grandchildren.
  • Your larger home is no longer affordable. Selling your home can lessen your financial burden
    and boost your overall well-being
  • You are lonely. Loneliness can become a factor in a larger home, especially if your spouse has
    passed away or your children visit infrequently due to geographical constraints.

Today, many adults 55 and older are leaving the suburbs behind and moving into condos or lofts in downtown areas. Not only are these homes easier to maintain, but they are also in walkable neighborhoods with easy access to amenities such as culture, retail, restaurants and even medical offices.

In and around the Myrtle Beach area, there are many attractive alternatives including live/work communities, senior housing and planned communities designed for active adults 55+. Take advantage of the many open houses. Ask residents who are near your age what their experience has been, and as with any big decision, take your time. No one said downsizing was easy or simple.