Downsizing for Retirement

How to Downsize Without the Hassle So You Can Enjoy Your Retirement

For some, the word “downsizing” brings up negative connotations. While it does mean living in a smaller space with fewer belongings, you’re actually getting more out of life: more money, more time, and more fun.

It’s an excellent choice for the young, who benefit greatly from the lower utility bills and freedom from the constant cleaning and maintenance that comes with a larger home, but it’s seniors like you who get the most out of it. You’ll amp up your retirement by living where you want with more hours in the day to do what you love, whether that’s gardening, fishing or playing tennis. 

You may find the process of selling your property, packing up and moving on rather daunting, and it can be complicated. However, by taking it step by step, you’ll get where you want to go with minimal headaches. Assisted Living Made Simple wants to help, so here’s how to go about it.

Set a Budget

When creating a budget, the value of your current home is the determining factor. Remember, you’re downsizing, which means looking for property that you can easily afford with the money from the sale of your current home without an onerous mortgage hanging over your head. Ideally, it would leave you with some profit left at the end for renovations, or even a taste of the finer things in life. You can use an online home value estimator to get an idea of how much your home is worth. These types of estimators can be accurate, but they can’t take into account every possible issue, such as new upgrades and problems with inspections. 

Find the Perfect Spot

Florida is still among the most popular places to retire thanks partly to its warm climate, but other destinations are gaining ground based on healthcare, community engagement and even employment opportunities, according to an article by CNBC. Take that all into consideration along with the cost of living in any area you’re considering. 

Choose the Right Home

Narrowing your home choice down won’t take long if you have some specific criteria in addition to your budget. For starters, stick with one floor, as getting up and down stairs becomes more difficult with age. Also, halls and doorways should be relatively wide for improved accessibility. Anything that requires a lot of maintenance is a definite “no.” 

You’ll also want to look at things like utilities costs and internet access. You don’t want to move into a smaller place that will end up costing you more due to high energy rates. If rates are close to your expectations, you can pinch pennies by making some adjustments, like installing smart bulbs or timers. Internet-wise, you can find affordable and simple self-setup plans through major providers that deliver all the power and speed you could want.

Purge Old Stuff

Once you’ve found the ideal property, it’s time to start planning the move itself, and that begins with a thorough decluttering. Start early, because this is going to take longer than you think. However, you’ll pick up steam by getting rid of items you obviously don’t need, such as clothes you never wear, books you’ve already read and anything that’s broken.

Select a Mover 

By not hiring a mover, you can save money hauling everything away yourself, but it’s not worth the hassle, especially when you’re a senior. There’s a lot of heavy lifting involved, and the process can be emotionally draining as you empty a place where you spent so many wonderful years. Let somebody else do that, but put some effort into hiring qualified professionals and choosing the right time to relocate.

Consider Health 

Taking health into account is particularly important for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. Sunrise Senior Living notes that if your partner suffers from this condition, take special care, as changing environments can be challenging for them, especially if their move is due to losing a loved one. You can lessen their difficulty by ensuring the new home is as calm as possible, while scheduling outings and visits for the time of day when they’re at their sharpest.

You may feel like your life is starting anew, and that’s because in a way, it is. Downsizing can be a great way to enhance this next chapter, and with a little planning ahead, you’ll make the process as seamless as possible. 

Turn to Assisted Living Made Simple for more information on ensuring your healthy and happy retirement years.

Image via Pexels.

If you need help or encouragement as a Caregiver give us a call at 386-847-2322 or check out our Caregiver Support Group. Our Senior Advisors are here to walk with you through this journey.

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