We tend to hang on to things we think we may need, though we haven't used them for a while. Others hang on to things for emotional reasons, the memory of a dead relative, past times or sentimental value. It can get out of hand when you the things you own prevent you from converting assets needed to maintain living expenses. A typical example of an elderly couple who accumulated real estate assets as well as personal items comes to mind. The real estate may include land, mismanaged poorly performing rental property, homes too large to maintain or deteriorating vacant homes. I've known some couples who own well over a million in assets, but the taxes, maintenance and insurance are costing them, draining their limited resources. Yet they still hang on, unable to manage the properties, thinking the appreciation will exceed the carry costs. Probably the worst scenario is a vacant condo with taxes and maintenance fees that can exceed 7% of value. A million dollar asset base with carry costs of just 5% translates to a $50K loss per annum. If the marital exemption is not managed, and one or both spouses die, then there could be serious tax consequences for the surviving spouse or heirs as well. Suffice it to say that you should consult an estate planner in the state of your primary residence to determine an asset re-allocation that may include the sale of all non-performing real estate. If you can turn an annual $50K loss into a $50K gain through an annuity or other investment, then you've just increased your cash flow by $100K. Consider letting go of of the things you don't need and live abundantly into retirement. If you need an experienced estate planning lawyer, please contact me for a referral.