When the kids have moved out and retirement is on the horizon, many seniors start to think they’d like to be in a smaller space. Downsizing is often a smart move; not only do you have less stuff to deal with, but you can also choose a place to retire that will suit you well as you get older. After all, the home you bought for your family may not suit you during your golden years.
However, downsizing is a complicated process. It includes figuring out your ideal living situation, selling and buying a home, and securing financing. Fortunately, there are ways to manage the process.
Use these tips to keep your risk minimal while downsizing.
Your first step can be simply looking around your current home and asking yourself: What do I really need? Downsizing can be a massive project that takes months to complete. Throwing yourself into the project now will give you something to do while at home, help you organize your home, and allow you to figure out how much space you’ll ultimately need.
Research Your Options
Now is a good time to start doing some research on your retirement living options. Many seniors’ first thought is simply finding a new home in which to enjoy their golden years. If you go this route, make sure you choose a home that will suit you as you age. For example, a single-level house will be more suitable. That way if stairs become more hazardous as you get older, you won’t have to worry about installing a chair lift or other mobility aid.
If you’re worried about feeling isolated, you can also look into independent living communities. Many people think these are the same as assisted living facilities, but the two are actually quite different. Independent living communities are simply collections of homes, condos, or apartments that are offered to people above retirement age. Typically, they also have shared spaces such as gardens, pools, or walking paths, and may even offer fitness programs or other bonus amenities.
It is also worth learning about assisted living facilities in your area, just in case you ever do decide you need the extra hand. These facilities offer help to seniors who struggle with daily tasks such as getting dressed or managing medications. Even if you don’t expect to need this kind of help, taking time to research and evaluate facilities in your area will make the process less intimidating if you ever do.
If you’re still worried about COVID-19 when it comes time to move, make sure you keep yourself safe through the process. Always wear a mask and gloves when touring properties or facilities, and opt for virtual tours when they’re available. You are your own best advocate, so speak up if something makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
When it comes to moving day itself, don’t put yourself at risk through overexertion. Instead, hire movers to do the heavy lifting. Keep in mind that the cost of movers can depend on many different factors, from whether you’re the only person they move that day to the weight and number of items; even the day of the week can make a difference. Ask for rates when scheduling and see how you can find the best deal.
Before moving into your new home, make sure to change the locks to keep it secure. Find highly rated local locksmiths in your area, and check if any of them are offering discounts on their services. Always make sure a locksmith is licensed and insured and can provide you with referrals from past customers.
Downsizing is certainly a complicated process, but there’s still a ton you can do to move toward your dreams. Eventually, you’ll be living safely and comfortably in your new home, and you’ll be glad you’ve done some of the work ahead of time.
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