While the housing market might make the present seem like a bad time to sell and downsize, doing so could make sense for near-retirees. The market isn't likely to bounce back for some time, some experts say, and with a smaller home, baby boomers can begin realizing savings on their mortgage, taxes, maintenance and other costs. "It's just cheaper to run a small house," says Barry Kaplan, chief investment officer at Cambridge Southern Financial Advisors in Atlanta.

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