Should you downsize? In the real estate world, we often call it “right-sizing.” Why spend your golden years cleaning rooms you don’t use or mowing a huge lawn? Choosing to right-size before health or mobility issues force you to move can be liberating! Gift legacy heirlooms while you can enjoy the feeling of giving, organize and dispose of paperwork and get things in order – your kids will thank you. Another benefit is that you can take as long as you want preparing for the transition. Start by emptying rooms that you know won’t exist in your new house – few smaller homes have a formal dining room, for example. You can also have an estate sale, yard sale or moving sale. Do it yourself or have a professional do the work for a portion of the proceeds. Each area that you address will take a bit more of the weight off your shoulders.

  • Allow family members to put their name on items they’d like to have. If you can part with them now, great. If not, their name will still be there when you no longer need the item.
  • With everything else, make a donation pile, a trash pile and a save pile. Think about the wonderful people who will be helped by your donations.
  • If you have collections or antiques, invite a professional to give you a price for them rather than donating. You may be surprised! If you still decide to donate the items, you’ll have a great tax deduction.
  • Be sure to shred any paperwork that could allow identity theft. Many companies hold mobile shredding events and document shredding companies will come to your home and destroy the documents for you.

Making the decision to give up your home is a difficult one. You’ve raised a family, celebrated the holidays and created a wealth of memories through the years but deciding where to go next can be equally challenging. This is where your local real estate agent can be a real blessing. A good agent will take the time to understand what you love about your existing space and the most important features in your future home. The process should be fun and exciting and your agent will be there supporting you every step of the way.

In addition, here are some great online resources:

RetireGuide.com has an excellent and comprehensive article about downsizing for retirement and another on Medicare.

MyMove.com has a great article on downsizing.

LifeStorage.com has an article geared toward the caregiver.

DailyCaring.com talks about dealing with keepsakes and mementos.

AARP.com introduces a professional called a Senior Move Manager to help with the process.

Do you need help with the complicated process of choosing a senior-focused facility?

You’ll discover that there are scores of options and they are vastly different in quality, features and price.  SeniorAdvice.com to the rescue. Their staff says the site was built by an outstanding team of individuals who came together to solve the problem of understanding and finding the best assisted living and senior care for you or your loved ones. They can connect you to caring, skilled senior care advisors to help you navigate through the process, or you can simply use the site as a research tool to make your own decisions and contact the facilities directly.

I hope you find these services helpful and of course, if there’s anything I can do to help you along the way, please let me know.