3 Things Seniors Need to do When Downsizing

Real Estate

There are many reasons why seniors decide to downsize during retirement.  For many, living in a larger home means too much maintenance, while others may simply want to experience somewhere new during their golden years.  No matter your reasons, if you've decided that downsizing is the right move for you, there are some simple steps you can take to make the transition easier.  Here are the top tasks you need to tackle when downsizing in retirement.

Find a Golden Years Home You'll Love

This is the time of your life when you should get everything you want, and that includes finding the right home.  You can make your search easier by getting online to get a feel for homes that are on the market and the prices of the homes that fit your wants and needs.  With a quick search, you'll see that homes in Wellington, Fl, have sold on average for around $380,000 over the past month, so that gives you an idea of the kind of prices you can expect.  This is also a good time to find a realtor, who can make finding the perfect home even easier.  Look for a realtor who has experience working in the local market and know what to expect from them when working with you as a buyer.  For example, you'll likely want to bring your realtor along when you attend open houses, and you need to be ready to buy before you start working with a real estate agent.

Downsize Without Getting rid of Your Memories

If you are moving to a smaller home, you'll likely need to downsize what you own.  Like many seniors, you've likely accumulated a lot of stuff as you made your last house into a home.  That means it's going to take some time to go through it all, decide what needs to come along, and determine what needs to go. So, try to start downsizing as soon as you know you will be moving into another home.  It may be helpful to have those loved ones help you with the process, especially if you think it will be especially emotional or difficult to do it alone.  Once you have everything narrowed down and have your new home picked out, you can start really assessing what else needs to go.  Measure to make sure your old furniture will fit and also know what kind of storage areas you will have.  If you have some things you'd like to keep but won't fit into your new home (like Christmas decor or seasonal clothing), think about renting a storage unit to keep those belongings safe until you are ready to use them again.

Plan for a Smooth, Stress-Free Move

Packing in another task you can go ahead and start ahead of time.  Before you begin sorting through your belongings, pick up some boxes and moving supplies.  As you go through and downsize your stuff, try to think about what you want to keep but will not use for a while.  Go ahead and place those belongings securely into boxes, and be sure to label them so you know what is in the boxes once they get to your new home.  If packing seems like too big of a task for you to tackle on your own, you may want to ask family members for help or consider hiring professional movers.  One of the perks of hiring pros is that they can quickly get your belongings packed securely, but they can also help move heavier items.  Shop around for the best quote, or ask your realtor for recommendations for movers nearby.  Moving companies generally charge between $30 and $50 an hour.

Downsizing can be a way to max out your retirement income, or a chance for new adventures. Whatever your move means to you, make sure you take the right steps to help it go smoothly, and help yourself to have a new beginning to this new phase of your life.

Article contributed by Mike Longsdon