Friday, September 24, 2021

How Seniors Can Downsize Successfully

 Eventually, nearly every senior citizen will need to downsize. They may plan to make this change years in advance, by selling the home where they raised their family, and then purchasing a smaller house or condo. On the other hand, some seniors may be forced to downsize suddenly and unexpectedly.  For example, they may suffer a health event, be diagnosed with a disease which could leave them progressively less able to take care of themselves, or be faced with financial problems which force them to downsize.

Whether you have planned to downsize years in advance, or you suddenly realize it is something you need to do as soon as possible, it is smart to plan as well as you can, so the move goes smoothly.  

You may find it helpful to read "The Art of Happy Moving: How to Declutter, Pack, and Start Over While Maintaining Your Sanity and Finding Happiness."   (Ad) It will help you think carefully about which items to keep and how to let go of things which once brought you joy, but are no longer needed.

This week's guest post will also help you make the necessary changes in an organized manner, easing your stress, and helping you find peace with the decisions you are making. The guest post is below:

What Seniors Need to Know to Downsize Successfully

Downsizing is something many seniors decide to do during retirement. Often, living with less can be both rewarding and more affordable than staying in your current home, but the transition still comes with challenges. Here are things you need to know to ensure your downsizing experience is successful.

Let Go of Belongings in Your Own Time

Getting rid of your belongings can be complicated. Take your time and ease the process with these tips.

     Understand and accept that you may have complicated emotions about downsizing.

     Try methods such as the Marie Kondo technique to help you feel at peace as you say goodbye to belongings.

      Find out where best to donate your previously loved possessions.

Consider the Current Housing Market

Evaluate how the housing market will affect your decision to buy or sell.

     An appraisal calculator will help you estimate the value of your home.

     Learn about the process involved in selling your home by discussing it with an experienced Realtor.  You can get suggestions which will help you sell your home, as well as get rid of your unnecessary belongings, by reading an additional article on this blog:   "Tips to Sell Your Home and Downsize or Move to Assisted Living."  It has many practical ideas. 

     Choose whether you want to rent or own in retirement. There are advantages and disadvantages to either choice.

     Use sites such as to help you find an excellent rental property, if this is what you decide to do.  Consider a wide variety of possible locations and decide whether you want to live in your current neighborhood or move to a new one. If you are moving to a new city or a different part of the country, it could be wise to rent until you are sure where you want to settle permanently.

Decide What Type of Housing You Need

Choosing where to move during retirement is an essential step in the process. Think about why you are moving — and where you plan to go.

     Contemplate how a move to a smaller home can help you save on expenses.  This could help you decide if a condo, a single family home in a new neighborhood, or a home in an over-55 retirement community is the correct, affordable choice for you.  

     Understand what assisted and independent living offer, if those options apply.  Many of these communities offer progressive solutions, where you start out in an independent living condo or apartment, and gradually shift to receiving assistance, as needed.   In many cases, that means you can move once and remain in that home for the rest of your life, with help, should you ever need it. 

     Make a decision on whether you want to live near family.  You may want to live near your grandchildren or your own elderly parents.  However, you also need to decide if you will want to stay in that location if your elderly parents die, or if your adult children are offered a transfer which requires them to move to a new location.  Consider your own needs before you uproot your life to move, if your only reason is to be near your family.  Make sure you are able to visit them, however.  You also do not want to cut yourself off from easy contact with them.

Whatever reason you decide to downsize, doing so successfully can be a challenge. You need to think about what items you will need to get rid of, where to move, and whether to buy or rent in your new location.  There is a lot to consider, so the sooner you start and the more time you allow yourself to make the transition, the easier it will be. Fortunately, these tips offer a great starting point for life’s next adventure.

You can find gifts for retirees and others at my Etsy Store, DeborahDianGifts:

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1 comment:

  1. We're already living in a super small house. If we downsized anymore we'd be nomads, which is another option! The decluttering book looks good, though.


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