Why Seniors Are Talking About Downsizing Their Home
Moving to a new home can be stressful. You have to find the right one, change your address, figure out where to put everything as you unpack, and then settle into a new community. With all of these considerations, why are so many seniors talking about moving?
Well, because downsizing — moving from a big, older home into a smaller, new one — can make a lot of sense. It saves money and effort just when you need it the most in retirement. Although you can never really have a completely stress-free move, with some careful planning and help, you can enjoy the benefits of downsizing.
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How You Benefit From Downsizing
For seniors, there are two main benefits from moving into a smaller home: money and safety.
If you are paying a mortgage on a bigger house, then you are probably paying for space and land you don’t use. This is a waste of your money, and now that you’re retired, money is something you can’t afford to waste. Buying a smaller house means spending less because the rent or mortgage will be less, as will your taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Even if you paid off your older house, you can outright buy a new one and pocket the difference in savings.
But as Dave Ramsey explains, it’s about more than just the money. Downsizing to a smaller home means less time and effort spent on maintaining and cleaning. That can be very important if you start to have problems with mobility or strength. Mowing a huge lawn or vacuuming all those unused rooms can quickly turn from annoying to difficult.
You Need A Strong Moving Plan
Once you’ve found the right-sized home to make your life easier, don’t start packing just yet. Instead, you need to spend time working on a solid organization plan.
Caregiver.org recommends you start by decluttering your current home. If your new place is smaller, there’s no need to have so many things — or the space for them. Everyone has stuff they don’t use or need anymore, so getting rid of it by donating, recycling, or throwing out can help a lot with whittling down your belongings.
For a more detailed guide for seniors moving into a new home, check out American Senior Communities. Their moving guide starts as much as one year before the move, but it still works if you’re moving sooner. Some of their suggestions include:
- Make a list of tasks and assign people to them.
- Contact your insurance company to transfer any policies.
- Decide where to put things in your new home.
- Start by packing things you won’t need right away (like mementos and heirlooms).
Keep You (And Your Things) Safe During The Move
You’ve done your research and got everything packed up and ready to go, and it’s now moving day. It’s an emotional time to be sure, but it could also be a risky one. After all, your body doesn’t have the same strength and resiliency, which means you have to be careful.
Before you even get to moving day, though, the AARP recommends finding reputable moving companies to help with the move. Be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau or the American Moving and Storage Association before hiring anyone. Then let trained professionals handle moving the heavy boxes and appliances. You can even rely on movers to safely pack before the move day arrives. They have the experience (and financial incentive) to keep your things safe.
Downsizing Is A Great Idea
It can be tough getting used to a new place at any age, especially as a senior. But with the financial and safety benefits, downsizing makes sense for many people. By having a good plan in place for organizing your belongings and moving safely, you can be settling in and enjoying the rest of your golden years in no time.