How to Navigate Life’s Next Major Milestone – Downsizing Your Home in Retirement

by: Michael Longsdonwww.elderfreedom.net

Life is full of milestones, and just because you’re retired doesn’t mean those milestones are behind you. It’s becoming common for seniors to reach a new milestone after (and sometimes before) retirement: downsizing to a smaller, more manageable place to live. There are countless benefits to making this move, but once you’ve decided to downsize, you’re left with more questions to answer. Where should you move, and how do you go about de-cluttering, packing, and moving years’ worth of stuff?

Man standing with woman

You’re Ready to Downsize, But Where?

If you don’t already have a place in mind, this is the first question to tackle. You may want to escape to the quiet of the country, or as HGTV suggests, some seniors prefer a condo in the city so they live in a walk-able neighborhood and close to necessities. Along with choosing the right community, you’ll also need to decide on the type of home you want. If you plan on buying, make sure you consider all the financial obligations involved. You may even decide that renting an apartment is a good fit, especially if you want the freedom to move again.

On the other hand, you may feel more comfortable choosing a retirement community. One thing to keep in mind is how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting communities, especially those where residents live in close proximity. The bottom line is that each option for downsizing has both pros and cons, so the answer comes down to whatever best fits your needs and your budget.

Finding the Features You Need

If you move into a retirement community, you can expect it to be designed to meet your needs as you age. However, if you’re buying a home or renting an apartment, you’ll need to look for features that maximize accessibility and safety. For starters, an accessible home should only be one level and have a zero-step entry. Your top safety concern is the risk of falling, which can be reduced by adding non-slip flooring, good lighting, and grab bars in the bathroom.

Some homes may not have every accessibility feature you need, but if you’re buying a home, you can always make modifications. Make sure to leave room in your budget for all renovations, including minor changes that you can DIY, along with bigger projects. Keep in mind that major accessibility modifications, such as installing a stair-lift, replacing a shower, or installing new flooring, will require a professional to ensure it’s done right.

Selling Your Home

In addition to finding the perfect place to call home, you may be asking yourself, “How am I going to sell my home?” Because COVID-19 is still a concern nationwide, one option is to use an online real estate service like Home Captain. The benefit of using a service like this is that it’s a financial technology platform, so it’s designed to not only make the selling process easier, but also to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

De-cluttering and Packing

It’s normal for seniors to feel overwhelmed by the thought of packing and moving. The good news is that this process is much easier when you tackle it with a plan. For example, the website Senior Safety Advice recommends decluttering by taking it one room at a time – and even one section of a room at a time. Another way to ease the burden is to look at the benefits of de-cluttering and moving. As hard as it may be, the reward is that it gives you the opportunity to start fresh and organized in your new home.

Taking the step to downsize is a major life change, and it comes with both rewards and challenges. The first step is deciding if this is the right move for you; then there are the questions about how to make it happen. This article may not have all the answers, but hopefully, it can get you started on finding the answers that are right for you.

Photo credit: Rawpixel

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