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Guest Blogger Suzie Wilson: Downsizing Tips For Seniors

Friends, Elderly, Old, Man, Woman, Couple

While it is not inevitable, many seniors will downsize their living situations as they enter their 60s, 70s, and beyond. For these individuals, the options are usually either to buy a new, smaller home or to move into an assisted living center. If you find yourself facing this decision, you may be intimidated by the process. The good news is that it does not have to be overwhelming, and the following advice can help you along the way.

Which Is Best: Assisted Living or Aging in Place?

If you know that a move is necessary but have yet to decide where the next chapter of your life will take you, you will first need to consider your health. If you have trouble with activities of daily living (bathing, toileting, dressing, etc.), then an assisted living facility may be your best bet. While each facility is different, most provide basic assistance for seniors with a mind for independence. In the Los Angeles area, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,500 to $17,860 per month depending on the level of care and amenities.

When you do not yet need assistance but realize that you are not as capable of cleaning a large home, ascending stairs, and navigating narrow hallways, downsizing to a smaller house is a sensible option. Talk to your realtor about finding a home that incorporates elements of universal design. Universal design means the home is laid out in a way that accommodates people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. Look for features such as a stepless entry and a single-story floor plan. Cost-wise, buying a smaller home may be more of an initial upfront investment compared to assisted living, and you will be responsible for your mortgage, utilities, food, transportation, and other personal expenses. However, this allows for the most independence.

 

Prepping for a Big Move to a Small Space

Now that you’ve made your decision, you’re going to need to start handpicking furniture and other personal items that will make the transition with you. If you’re moving into a single-family home, space will be your only real constraint. However, instead of just throwing things to the curb, put no-longer-needed furniture and household goods to good use by donating them to a local charity. Updater.com explains that this comes prepackaged with both tax benefits and the knowledge that you’ve kept unnecessary items out of the landfill.

Moving into an assisted living apartment may require you to pick and choose more carefully. There are many items that are frowned upon or downright prohibited in a senior living community. Call your community representative if you are unsure of their policies.

 

Navigating the Emotions

There is no way around the fact that moving, for whatever reason, is an emotional experience. It is also one that is deeply personal. If possible, give yourself plenty of time to pack and say goodbye to your home, neighbors, and community. Remind yourself that you are moving with a purpose. This might be for more opportunities to socialize or to move into a home without stairs to minimize your risk of falling. When your upcoming move comes on the heels of losing a spouse or longtime partner, the process may be even more emotionally challenging. Don’t be afraid to talk to your family and friends if you need a listening ear.

It’s time to enjoy your retirement. But remember, know what you can — and can’t — take with you, and be prepared for an emotional experience. The journey may not always be pleasant, but the end result will be a safer and more comfortable you.

 

Image via Pixabay

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Guest Blogger: DIY Mama Erin Reynolds-Why Now Is the Right Time to Downsize

House, Keys, Key, The Door, Castle, The Background

Regardless of who you are, life can be overwhelming at times. There is always something to be done, something to be cleaned, and something to be repaired. If you’re tired of feeling overwhelmed, now is the best time to downsize and reclaim control of your life.

 

Managing the Move

Starting the downsizing process now, as opposed to later, will help you begin to eliminate some of the stress in your life. However, once you find the home of your dreams, moving becomes the most difficult aspect. You need to sort your possessions to decide what you can give to family, sell, or donate. You also need to research moving companies ahead of time. This gives you the opportunity to compare pricing and contracts while checking reviews. Make sure you get a walk-through and that your deposit, should you need one, is minimal.

 

Saving Money

One of the most persuasive factors in downsizing is the amount of money you can save. Most of us realize that when we sell a larger home, we can pay off a smaller one outright. Even if you don’t cover the entire cost, having a sizable down payment will mean less interest in the long run. Yet, that isn’t the only way you could conserve your finances. Utilities should be minimized in a smaller home as it will use less energy to heat and cool. You may also save substantially on home insurance and property taxes, depending on your state.

 

Creating Time

Large homes can seem luxurious, but they end up eating away our precious free time. Many of us are lucky if we only work a 40-hour week. In fact, most of us work over that amount. As such, our leisure time is limited and precious. Instead of taking time to clean and maintain a large space, a small home is easy. When you live in the space you need, rather than the extra we have all been told to want, you end up with more time. Think of how long it takes to mow a big lawn. If you cut that lawn in half, you can commit those hours to something you enjoy.

 

Lowering Stress

When we have too much space, we tend to put things where they are convenient, rather than where they should be. If the stapler belongs in the office, but we use it in the entryway, we may just leave it. This can accumulate and create clutter and chaos. It’s hard for our minds to relax when we live in a disordered environment. We feel guilty for not cleaning up, and even our creativity can suffer. When we live in a smaller, more contained space, we have an easier time keeping things organized. This allows us to truly enjoy the time we spend in our homes.

 

Exploring New Things

Have you always wanted to live in the center of a city? It can be impossible when we look for giant homes, but it could be downright affordable if we scale down. There may be many benefits to living in a new area. This is your chance to give yourself what you have always wanted. A shorter commute? Better schools? More diverse culture? Near the beach? When you downsize, you have the opportunity to live the life of your dreams.

Greater Luxury

Living large does not mean living well. Smaller homes can offer luxury the way McMansions just can’t. When you have relatively small square footage, you can afford your ideal flooring. You can install smart tech in every room. There are fewer pieces to decorate, so you can buy what you want without compromising. You don’t need to be limited to the indoors, either. You can add a deck or veranda to extend the living space you have while enjoying fresh air and sunshine.

We all deserve simplicity. Having less to clean, look after, and maintain can free up more time than you realize. Not only that, but the money you save by doing so can also be life-changing.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2019 in Organizing

 

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Super Tip Tuesday: Downsize Before You Move

 

Image result for downsizing

Moving is a GREAT time to downsize! It is a great time to purge too. Here are some tips:

Decide what are priority items. Things you HAVE to take with you to the new place. Usually things like Beds, Tables, towels, pots and pans. But even with those items, you can downsize. Discard old towels that aren’t good; donate any kitchen items you NEVER use.

Recycle old magazines and mail!

Donate or sell old clothes you NEVER wear or don’t fit anymore!

It’s easier to bring less stuff into your new place. It can save you money on truck size for moving, or how you hire movers and their time cost. I’m always looking for ways to save money!

AND you can start fresh in your new home. Start it off right!! No clutter!

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Organizing

 

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Downsizing and Retirement

Downsizing-in-words

Downsizing is very important when it comes to retirement. A lot of people have these great retirement fantasies, which are too high-priced. Some people might need to retire to another state where the price of living is cheaper. While money is important, planning for retirement isn’t all about money. Maybe hire a life coach (like myself) and work out what you would like to see your retirement life look like. Also I think it’s a great idea to get a certified retirement financial adviser if you need help planning for your future. Life after retirement should be very enjoyable. No one should spend time worrying about finances, but rather do things that they enjoy and now have time to do. The certified advisers will help to prevent stressful retirements.For example I have my financial advisor at Edward Jones.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Life Coaching

 

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