What is the difference between rightsizing and downsizing? First, let’s define.

There’s an assumption that when the kids grow into adulthood, have their own lives and move out, people will “downsize” — get rid of the stuff gathered over the years, sell the house, and move into a smaller unit that’s easier to maintain. But there are a lot of options to choose from, if health and resources allow our senior adults the luxury of choosing where and how to live.

Ultimately, the next move in life isn’t about downsizing or upsizing: It’s about “rightsizing.” It’s about ensuring less stress and surrounding themselves in a property that suits their needs now, not one that used to suit their needs when they had family around.

Nowadays, seniors have a lot of options in choosing whether to downsize, rightsize or have them both. With the emergence of housings, villages, communities that cater to our seniors 55+, all they need is to do some research as to which of these is more appropriate for their lifestyle and needs.

Some good examples that we would like to highlight are retirement villages and 55+ complexes.

We first focus on retirement villages. So what are retirement villages? According to Australian Publishing Resource Services,

A retirement village, also referred to as a retirement community, is a form of residential housing built and designed specifically to cater to the needs and lifestyle of people aged 55 and over. They are an emerging community that began appearing in the 1970s and 80s.

In the past, most residents entered into these villages aged in their seventies as part of a move to downsize, decrease maintenance responsibilities, experience a greater sense of safety and security, or for health and lifestyle reasons. Today younger retirees from age 55 are seeing the benefits of relocating to a retirement village. Not only has this lifestyle shift been of benefit to residents, but it has also freed up residential housing for younger families, stimulated the local economy and reduced the pressure on aged care, medical and hospital infrastructure.

According to the industry’s national peak body the Retirement Village Association (RVA), one of the great successes of the industry is that it is a unique and innovative model with an emphasis on lifestyle that also reduces demand on local services for seniors.

Now that we know what retirement villages are, let’s focus on the over 55 complexes or communities.

These are licensed to only allow residents over that age so that they could create communities of like-minded people – born of the same era and raised with reasonably similar values. Moreover, according to SeniorHomes.com, seniors can enjoy a rich, secure and senior-oriented lifestyle while still enjoying the independence and freedom of a typical neighborhood.

Most 55 and over communities provide maintenance and landscaping services, freeing residents from the worry of broken fixtures or tedious lawn care. This can provide peace of mind to seniors and their families alike.

In a nutshell, retirement villages and ‘over 55’ communities have some slight differences – like assisted living which is offered in retirement villages but not in ‘over 55’ communities. Though they may differ in some areas, both offer all the benefits we can get from downsizing and rightsizing.