Why Your 40s Can Be a Good Time to Downsize Your Home

When you think about how you want to spend the second half of your life, where does your home fit in? It’s a difficult question, right?

Most of us, I would imagine, have bought into the idea of the American dream. You know, the idea that owning a home is one of our life goals. The idea that being a homeowner means we have succeeded in our career and are on the right path.

Many people still consider their home their greatest asset. However, after the financial downturn in 2008, this idea is being questioned by some

Whatever your perspective may be, have you given any thought to the advantages or the downsides of downsizing your home as a way of preparing for the second half of life?  

What are the pros and cons for you?

Here are some key points to consider.

If you’re looking to improve your financial position and you have too much house, downsizing is a great option, Sass said. This could apply to people who started their family at a young age and the kids are no longer living at home. Or it could even apply to people with children still at home who stretched the limits of their budget to buy a large home with a mortgage that’s unmanageable or expenses — such as utilities and maintenance — that are more than anticipated.

If you have little to no savings and know retirement will be a stretch, downsizing might be essential, Arzaga said.

It also can be a good option for people who are willing to sacrifice some space for a smaller home or rental unit closer to recreational activities they enjoy or their workplace, Sass said. You just want to make sure you move into a house that will suit your needs as you age, such as one that’s a single floor or has a master bedroom on the first floor. Because Sass said moving gets harder physically and emotionally as you age, downsizing in your 40s can make the transition a little easier by taking advantage of your younger age to make a move that you know you’ll eventually need to make.  Continue reading

8 Tips for Planning the Second Half of Life

Whether you are approaching the second half of life or already there, it’s helpful to have wisdom and insight from someone who is already there or who can show us the way.

Barbara Babkirk, Master Career Counselor, does just that. Here are her 8 tips for planning the second half of life.

1. Acknowledge and be curious about this significant phase of life.

Slow down your pace, and pay attention to what is happening within you — emotionally and physically. Action step: Invite stillness and reflection, keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings, meditate, take yoga or do something different that will balance the “doing” in your life.

2. Make an effort to live in the present moment.

Attempt one activity at a time and be mindful of your actions at any given moment. Action step: Give up multi-tasking for a few hours, then extend it to half a day, then a day. Notice the difference it makes.

3. Learn to manage your fears.

Focus on what you desire, rather than what you fear might happen. Action step: Be conscious of your breathing; it will help you release your fear. Stop conjuring up stories of worst-case scenarios, and instead focus on the outcome you want.

4. Develop your intuition and creativity.

Acknowledge and make time for your creative self in any form that appeals to you. Action step: Engage in specific activities that nurture your intuition and self-expression.

5. Identify what is most important in your life and begin to live your life accordingly.

Be willing to recognize where your life is out of sync with your priorities. Action step: Pick one area that needs realignment, and take action on it.  Continue reading

3 Answers for the Second Half of Life

So, what exactly is “the second half of life?” Is it something we experience as a result of our age, our experience, our career or is it a mindset shift that we experience somewhere along the way?

In both my personal and professional experiences, I have observed that it is something that happens to most of us anywhere between the ages of 40 and somewhere around 55.

However you choose to define it, J. D. Meier offers three ways to help us navigate it. 

“The first half of my life I went to school, the second half of my life I got an education.”

– Mark Twain

How do you prepare for the second half of your life?

Like a fine wine you can get better with age.

Maybe you can answer your calling.

Maybe you can give back in some way that you never expected or dreamed possible.

Or maybe, you just want to follow the little path least traveled.

In The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker’s Essential Writings on Management, Peter F. Drucker writes about 3 potential paths for the second half of your life.

3 Answers for the Second Half of Your Life

Drucker provides 3 answers for the second half of your life:

  1. Start a Second Career 
  2. Develop a Parallel Career
  3. Become a “social entrepreneur”

Start a Second Career

According to Drucker, one path is to start a different career.

Via The Essential Drucker:

“The first is actually to start  a second and different career.  Often this means only moving from one kind of organization to another.

Typical are the middle-level American business executives who in substantial numbers move to a hospital or university, or some other nonprofit organization, around age forty-five or forty-eight, when the children are grown and the retirement pension is vested.

In many cases they stay in the same kind of work.  The divisional controller in the big corporation becomes, for instance, controller in a medium-sized hospital.  But there are also a growing number of people who actually move into a different line of work.”  Continue reading