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More and more Baby Boomers are heading into retirement. Oftentimes, this comes with a desire for change. That change could be lifestyle, travel plans, or a living situation. The one change that continues to stand out is setting yourself up to age in place, which means more people are looking to downsize.
Like many seniors, you might be considering whether to downsize and find a new home where you can comfortably spend your golden years. You may be tired of maintaining a larger home and paying for the constant maintenance and utility bills that go with a larger space. If this sounds like something you keep thinking about, perhaps it’s time to look for a smaller, more manageable home that suits your retirement lifestyle.
But is moving to a smaller home financially viable?
Before deciding to move, it’s crucial to make sure you can afford to make this change. According to CNBC, if downsizing to a smaller home doesn’t cut your monthly expenses by 25 percent, it may not be worth moving in the long run. Additionally, homes in Hollywood, FL sell for an average of $245,000 right now. If that price is beyond your budget and the sale of your current home can’t adequately fund the purchase of a new home, it’s probably best to wait a few months.
What’s the best living situation for you?
If it makes sense financially to downsize, there are many other factors to consider. US News recommends considering the specific lifestyle you intend to lead. For example, if you plan to travel often, condos are a popular option because they can be left unattended for long periods of time without requiring much maintenance. Perhaps you anticipate having children, grandchildren, and other guests coming to stay with you regularly, in which case an apartment or smaller home with a guest bedroom makes a little more sense. Consider your needs and expectations when planning out this transition.
Downsizing your belongings
Once you’ve decided on the best living situation for you, it’s important to pare down the contents of your house. The Spruce recommends considering the floor plan of your new home as the basis for this decision-making process — if something doesn’t fit, don’t keep it. When assessing how to downsize your belongings, start with larger objects, like furniture, and work your way into the smaller items. It’s helpful to consider each purpose an item serves when deciding whether to keep it, donate it, or throw it away.
Senior Caring recommends having a sorting system to help things go smoothly. This system should have rules about what you will keep, what you will give away and what will be thrown out. Start by packing the rooms you don’t use as often. It’s generally more effective to put heavier items in smaller boxes and lighter items in larger boxes. Clothes and linens are easiest kept in suitcases, so you can access them as needed. It’s also advised to create a division of assets well in advance of your move date to avoid any confrontation among loved ones while packing. If you have large items that you think multiple family members will be interested in acquiring but don’t want to take with you, move them to a storage unit until you’re able to communicate with everyone about who should get them. Renting a self-storage unit isn’t that expensive. For example, the average monthly cost of such a unit is $104.56 in Miami.
Hiring professional movers
Hiring professionals can make the process of moving substantially easier. Having professional movers help with the heavy lifting and physical labor allows you to avoid injury and makes for a speedier and more efficient move. Hiring professionals can also help you separate yourself emotionally from the moving process. If you’ve spent decades in the same home, you’re likely to have memories and feelings of attachment that can be difficult to manage when packing up. Be sure to research your options when you start to look for reputable movers, and always get multiple quotes.
Moving can be one of the most stressful ordeals to undertake, especially if you’re a senior who is downsizing. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to wrap your head around the process. It’s okay if you feel sad or need to grieve. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or medical professionals if you need help processing your feelings. In the meantime, eliminate the stress by figuring out the best living situation for you, sorting your belongings to simplify your life, and hiring professionals to get you moved quickly and efficiently. Before you know it, you’ll be kicking back in your new home enjoying some of your best years yet.