For several empty nesters and retirees, the idea of downsizing can either be exciting or completely overwhelming. People often fail to appreciate how, as one gets older, it becomes harder to move. Anyone who has moved recently knows that the process is physically and mentally exhausting, even at a young age! It is that much more daunting for older adults, especially if a move is thrust upon them following a health issue or a bereavement. One of the biggest and most stressful aspects of downsizing, is what to do with all the extra furniture and belongings that you have accumulated over the years.
We can help by providing you with resources to help you through this process. We have extensive contacts with various companies and charitable organizations that can take a lot of the heavy lifting off of your hands.
For many, a reluctance to make the move is due to an emotional attachment to their home or they may feel the need to maintain it in order to allow their adult children and their families to visit during the holidays, or even just for Sunday dinner. Others may feel that downsizing would not be a wise financial decision for themselves, or for their family.
Some of the reluctance stems from the idea that trading a house with a paid-off mortgage for a rental unit or condominium with maintenance fees will lead to higher monthly costs. However, as a home ages, issues and repairs will become more common. Replacement of a roof, a furnace or older windows and doors will become necessary. Neglecting this maintenance not only depletes the home’s value, but also leads to higher heating costs, thereby making living there more expensive. It is also important to consider the cost of outsourcing household chores that you no longer do yourself, like snow removal, lawn and garden care, window cleaning, gutter cleaning and pool maintenance. Would these tasks be more manageable for you in a smaller place? Many of those services would be included in maintenance or condo fees in housing that may be better suited to those looking to downsize.
If our experience has taught us anything, we have learned that it is usually better to take the plunge sooner rather than later. We often work with seniors who have left this move a little too late in terms of their health and possible loss of autonomy, and they can no longer manage the process. Often this means that their adult children are now dealing with the sale of the home and arranging the move or they must hire people to help out. This makes the entire process that much more stressful for everyone involved.
If you are considering downsizing, we would be glad to meet with you to show you how we have been successful in helping many families through this process. Our goal is to help educate you, so that you can make the decision that is right for you and your family and hopefully make this transition a happy one.