The Best Advice for Paring Down in Your Golden Years
Seniors often decide it’s time to work smarter and not harder during their golden years. For some, this can equate to a smaller, more manageable home. If you’re considering downsizing, keep these factors in mind for a successful transition.
Sometimes Less Is More
Many seniors opt to downsize for their golden years. Once the nest is empty, a family-sized home can be excessive. After all, there is more to maintain in a bigger home, meaning time and energy spent on a house that is more than you need. In fact, some statistics reflect 46 percent of baby boomers elected to downsize in 2017. In addition to reducing workload, Dave Ramsey points out there are often financial benefits in downsizing as well, such as lowering debt, increasing retirement savings, and perhaps living without a mortgage payment if selling your current home means buying another outright.
Selecting Your Next Abode
Keeping your future needs in mind is a key in finding an appropriate home for your golden years. With age often comes a decline in ability, so an easy to manage property is ideal. When you’re house hunting, one recommendation is to find a one storey home. Stairwells can be difficult to navigate as we grow older, and sometimes elderly people require assistive devices such as walkers, so one floor living with an open floor plan is best. You should also consider any lifestyle changes you desire, such as being closer to family, or proximity to hobbies. If you’re a pet owner, finding a pet-friendly community or a nearby dog park might be priorities. And when you do find that perfect home, pet owners can benefit with boarding their pooch for moving day. When boxes and furniture are being loaded and unloaded, the chaos can be stressful for your canine companion, not to mention he could slip out in the confusion.
Decisions and Layouts
There will most likely be a lot of editing involved in moving to a smaller home. It can be challenging deciding what you will and won’t have room for, and envisioning the space is part of the puzzle. One idea is to compare the floor plan of your current home with that of your new home. Review drawings of the spaces side by side so you can get an idea of what will and won’t fit in the new place. You may need to rehome some large pieces of furniture as a result.
Cutting down on belongings is one of the hardest parts of downsizing. Oftentimes, seniors have items with memories attached, and parting with those things can feel like parting with a time in history. One suggestion is to bear in mind you’ll still have your memories even after downsizing, so parting with memorabilia isn’t parting with the memory. You can even take digital photos of your items and revisit them in an online album or on your phone. Along those same lines, CDs, DVDs, and books are available in an electronic format now.
Once you cut down on your belongings you’ll be ready to start packing. Gather your supplies, including boxes, markers, tape, and packing material. Go room to room, starting with the kitchen since it’s the most complicated. All the breakables and sharp objects require special attention, but once that’s behind you, the rest will be a breeze! Make sure you don’t miss anything by keeping a packing checklist handy. Prioritize your boxes and label them carefully, and ensure you pack your important documents together in a safe place that’s easy for you to find.
When it comes to home ownership and getting older, sometimes paring down makes sense. If you are like many seniors you want to ease your maintenance and financial burden for your
golden years. Downsizing can be the perfect solution!
– Written by Michael Longsdon