Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Downsizing Tips for Seniors - How to Handle the Change

Sooner or later, many seniors discover that they need to downsize.  They may be moving to a smaller home in a new community, to a retirement condo, or to an apartment in an Assisted Living community.  Regardless of where they are moving, the decision can be complicated and often seniors feel overwhelmed.  What should they keep and what should they get rid of?  How do they choose?  Where do they begin?  No wonder so many seniors feel paralyzed by all the decisions they have to make.
This month we have a guest post from Michael Longsdon from Elder Freedom, which describes itself as "an organization of advocates working for the older adults of our community. It is our mission to help locate resources, events, and engagement opportunities to help enrich the lives of seniors." Mr. Longsdon has helpfully put together this information which will make it easier for seniors to downsize.

In addition to the information below, you may find it helpful read a book such as:  "Decluttering at the Speed of Life." (Ad) It has some great ideas for sorting through your belongings and purging your home of what you do not need.  

Three Strategies for Downsizing Which Every Senior Needs to Know

by Michael Longsdon
Downsizing is a popular lifestyle move today. The potential benefits include everything from stress relief to discovering what you truly love in life. But for seniors who are moving to a new house, there are more complex emotions and physical hurdles in your path. Here are three strategies for downsizing which every senior needs to know before it is time to pick up the new keys.
Downsizing 101: Paring Down the Smart Way
Getting rid of possessions can be fraught with emotion. Ideally, you should be getting rid of things which are merely taking up space. But in many cases, you will struggle to let go of objects which have some significant history. Whether it is a painting which you do not like, but kept because of family ties, or a piece of furniture you did not want, but have grown to love, detaching from possessions is a process.
Ideally, you should start working toward downsizing well in advance of a move. Sifting through belongings should not be a rushed process. Instead, start with one room in the house and begin sorting everything into piles. Choose a bin for donating, a box for keeping, and have the trash can conveniently located, too.
Consider how much space you will have at your new place and pare down accordingly. Think critically about each item and decide whether you need it. Creating a focus for your life moving forward can help. Think about whether the item will benefit you in your new life. Will it bring you joy, or will it remain in a box for years after your move?
Choose things which make you happy and contribute to your daily enjoyment of life, in general.
House Search: How to Find the Right Fit for Your Golden Years
Finding the right home to live in through your golden years is crucial for your future happiness. Your first consideration is whether to buy an already-accessible home or one you need to modify. An older property, or one needing upgrades, will cost less up-front than a modern and well-equipped home.
Depending on the remodeling costs, you may find that purchasing a home that already has what you need is ideal. For example, the areas where remodels are most likely necessary are the bathroom and kitchen. The average cost to remodel a bathroom in Fort Worth ranges between $5500 and $14,000, while the average cost nationally for a kitchen remodel is around $22,000. 
If you have the budget—and specific ideas about the layout or features of your home—opting for a remodel might be the best option. Conversely, choosing a home with accessibility features already in place is often a wise choice, especially if you do not have time to manage a project.
Features such as wide doorways and halls, grab bars in restrooms, low kitchen countertops, and low-graded entries are highlights of universal design homes. In universal design, accessibility is streamlined into the overall home layout and plans—no remodeling necessary.
Decide what is best for your budget, timeline, and enjoyment of your new home before making an offer on a new place.
Making the Most of Your Move
Moving can be emotional and stressful, and if you are downsizing after living in your family home for decades, the move can feel traumatizing. The best plan for preparing for a move is to start as early as possible. This way, you can take time to adjust to the idea of living somewhere new.
Research your new neighborhood and find out what is amazing about it, and consider local amenities and community perks. While moving always has drawbacks, there are many positives you should recognize, too.
If you are interested in learning more about where to live after your retire, financial planning, Social Security, Medicare, or common medical issues after retirement, use the tabs or pull-down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of other additional articles.
You are reading from the blog: http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com
Photo credit: Photo provided by Elder Freedom; the source was pixabay.com/photos/kitchen-kitchenette-apartment-room-2094707/


  1. I like the suggestion of paring down our possessions well before needing or wanting to move. My sister did this, and it made her move to her last home (which was, by the way, an up size) much easier.

    1. It is always a good idea to downsize before you make a move. It is the perfect time to clean out the things you do not need or use. My husband and I have been getting rid of things, too, and it makes us feel good to decrease the clutter!

  2. Thoughtful post! I like the recommendation of paring down our assets a long time before requiring or needing to move. My mother did this, and it made her transition to her last home a lot simpler. Every state-funded college, professional schools, junior colleges, and private foundations must comply with these laws.Senior Living Help

    1. Thank you for your comment. Yes, it is important that we all do whatever we can to make life easier for the elderly.

  3. This is a very great article, thanks for even taking the time to write this. The best bet would be to make the best out of your move like you stated! Look forward to more articles now.


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