Downsizing usually means giving or throwing away things that has been dear to you, but downsizing with aging in place can continue with cutting your basic expenses to live. Having earned our salaries and social security check levels in a pricier place to live, we saw the advantage among our other reasons to move to an area where real estate taxes, insurance and utilities cost less.
After the fact of moving, I found this article that suggests you should not move/downsize unless you can cut 25% off your old budget at your new location. We are at about 20% and have few items to trim yet. http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2015/08/26/can-downsizing-save-your-retirement/
So besides researching your housing prospects, also look into what your new area has to offer in terms of cost savings. Some counties have more taxes but more services or tax breaks for older residents. Ours allows less real estate taxes when income and assets fall below a certain level. Other counties pay a percentage towards fixed rents in senior living apartments.
Always look at your perspective county’s Department of Aging website. Moving to an area where there are more senior services, means less money spent privately later on. Taxes pay for services and some states are more generous than others to their seniors. Having transportation services that cover a wide geographic area, for example can make a huge difference.