For Kirk and Peggy Hoopes, the process of downsizing focused on everything they would gain rather than on the things they were giving up. They realized quickly that they would experience life in abundance, spending time on things that really mattered to them, when they no longer had to worry about maintaining a home. Their life motto of “less is more” is a phrase that they truly live out. Recognizing that they felt burdened by items they no longer wanted, they were eager to start the process early.
When they began looking at retirement communities, they didn’t need to look far. Kirk had worked as a nurse at Cristwood Nursing & Rehabilitation Center several years ago, and they are both active with a Bible study that meets on the Cristwood campus. “We were looking for community, and there’s a special dynamic at Cristwood – everyone is smiling,” Peggy explained.
Kirk and Peggy recognized the extravagance of being able to spend their time and energy in new ways, and the outcome was worth far more than the accumulation of items over the years. Time spent with their children and grandchildren is filled with laughter, shared meals, and catching up on life, rather than discussing decisions and sorting through boxes. The downsizing process was challenging, but starting early made the move to Cristwood Park relatively seamless. “Our kids thought it was crazy that we wanted to start the process so early in our lives, but they lead busy lives and we didn’t want to burden them with having to make decisions for us later,” Kirk explained. “Our kids don’t want our stuff- they want to downsize too!”
Kirk and Peggy demonstrate that downsizing isn’t about slowing down; there’s extravagance in living simply. Kirk joked, “I feel like a rich guy in a giant house with a lot of servants! We’ve never lived like this before, and it’s a blessing to have someone else taking care of the daily aspects of life that we used to have to maintain.” Whether enjoying the view from their balcony, catching up with friends over a cup of coffee in the fireside lounge, or investing in quality time with their family, life feels richer than ever.
Their advice to other couples? Don’t wait. The idea of downsizing can be cumbersome, but the end result is well worth it. Spend time enjoying life now instead of wishing later that you had started the process earlier.
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