10 Things Boomers Should Consider Selling in Retirement

10 Things Boomers Should Consider Selling in Retirement

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10 Things Boomers Should Consider Selling in Retirement
Cheapism; imaginima/istockphoto; Vrbo

Sweet Retirement

As more baby boomers enter retirement, many find themselves grappling with the challenges of being able to live comfortably without savings or additional financial support. In fact, up to 40% of older Americans may be relying solely on Social Security and other government assistance to get by, according to a 2020 study by the National Institute on Retirement Security. As such, selling certain assets to bolster their retirement funds can provide a much needed safety net. 

From downsizing to a smaller home to parting with jewelry and clothing they no longer use, here are 10 things that boomers should consider selling in retirement to give themselves some financial relief. 

Related: No Pension. No 401(k). How to Get by on Social Security

Zionsville House

1. Large House

Downsizing from a large house to a smaller, more manageable home can significantly impact a retiree’s financial health. This is because a large house not only ties up equity that could be better utilized elsewhere, but it also incurs higher costs in terms of maintenance, utilities, and property taxes. By moving to a smaller home or to a retirement community, retirees can reduce these expenses and potentially unlock large wads of cash from the sale of their property. 

Plus, a smaller home can be easier to maintain and navigate, which is an important consideration as physical mobility and eyesight can decrease with age. 

Related: Retire Cheaply and Still Enjoy Your Life With These 18 Tips

Line of suburb homes each with a car parked in the driveway

2. Second Car

For many retirees, maintaining a second car can be more of a financial burden than a benefit. Costs associated with insurance, maintenance, registration, and fuel can add up quickly and strain limited budgets. By selling a second vehicle, retirees can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually, which can be redirected toward other essential expenses or savings. It's also a lot more environmentally friendly. 

With the rise of ride-sharing services and public transportation, the need for a second car also goes down, making it a practical decision to downsize to one vehicle.

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Interior Of Charity Shop Or Thrift Store Selling Used And Sustainable Clothing And Household Goods

3. Jewelry and Clothing

Jewelry and clothing that are rarely worn or have fallen out of style can be valuable sources of extra income. High-quality pieces, especially those that are vintage or from designer brands, can fetch good prices on the secondhand market or through specialty buyers and collectors. By selling these items, retirees can also declutter their living spaces and convert unused assets into cash. 

This strategy not only provides financial benefits but also simplifies their lifestyle, which can be liberating and more manageable for older folks. 

Antiques on flea market or seasonal festival - vintage jewelry, silver brooches and other vintage things. Collectibles memorabilia and garage sale concept. Selective focus
Iryna Mylinska/istockphoto

4. Collectibles

Unbeknownst to themselves, many baby boomers have probably accumulated various collectibles over the years, such as stamps, coins, or sports memorabilia. These items often hold significant value, especially if they are rare or in good condition. Selling these collectibles can provide a substantial financial boost to help retirees cover unexpected expenses, or fund leisure activities in retirement. 

Finding a good home for these items also gives one peace of mind by knowing they'll be appreciated by new owners who value their historical or sentimental value. 

Related: You Won't Believe How Much These Collectibles Fetched at Auction

RV leaving through gate

5. Recreational Vehicles

Recreational vehicles (RVs), boats, campers, and other leisure vehicles can be costly to maintain and store, especially if they aren't used frequently. Selling these vehicles can provide a significant cash influx by reducing ongoing expenses related to insurance, upkeep, and storage fees. This extra money can be redirected towards travel, hobbies, or other retirement activities that bring joy and fulfillment. 

In addition, reducing the number of vehicles can help simplify one's life and lessen the physical and financial demands associated with their upkeep. 

Alameda Point Antiques Faire, San Francisco
Aileen M./Yelp

6. Antiques

While we don't recommend selling treasured family heirlooms, certain antiques — including furniture, artwork, and home decor — can be a hidden source of wealth. These items often appreciate in value over time and can be sold through auctions, antique dealers, or online marketplaces. By parting with these items, retirees can also free up space in their homes and access funds to improve their quality of life. 

This process also allows them to pass on cherished items to others who will continue to preserve and appreciate their historical significance.

Related: Snag the Best Deals on Facebook Marketplace With These 9 Tips

Dreamy Log Home Vacation Rental

7. Vacation Properties

Owning a vacation property can be financially draining as maintenance, property taxes, and utility costs quickly stack up. Selling a secondary home or a timeshare can provide a significant financial boost by relieving the burden of these ongoing costs. The proceeds from the sale can then be invested or used to enhance one's day-to-day living in retirement. 

Furthermore, without the obligation of maintaining a vacation property, retirees can have more flexibility to explore different travel destinations or hobbies.  

Old meets new(-ish)
Old meets new(-ish) by Toby Bradbury (CC BY-NC-ND)

8. Electronics

Older electronics, such as outdated computers, cellphones, and entertainment systems, can be sold to declutter and provide extra funds. Many electronics retain value due to their components or collectible status, making them attractive to buyers on platforms like eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Selling unused electronics can also create extra space and reduce the hassle of dealing with obsolete technology. 

This strategy also provides an opportunity to upgrade to newer, more user-friendly devices if needed.

Related: 11 Tech Gadgets That Used To Be Cool but Aren't Anymore

Power Tools

9. Tools

Specialized or rarely used tools can be also sold, especially if retirees are no longer engaging in extensive home improvement projects. High-quality tools, especially those used in woodworking, automotive repair, or gardening, can be quite valuable if kept in good condition. By selling these tools, retirees can free up storage space and eliminate the need for maintenance or repairs on these items. 

The proceeds can then be used for more pertinent needs or hobbies that better suit their current lifestyle.

Home Interior With Vintage Furniture

10. Unused Furniture

Extra furniture that clutters the home can be sold to create a more organized and efficient living space. Furniture pieces that are no longer needed, or that don't fit the current home, can be valuable to others — and can be sold through places like consignment shops, online marketplaces, or even garage sales. By selling unused furniture, retirees can make their living spaces more comfortable and accessible. 

The funds raised can be used to enhance their daily living conditions or to invest in more functional furniture better suited to one's current needs.