Tips For Downsizing During Your Golden Years

Elderly Couple
Article By David Dixon

Your birdies flew the nest a long time ago, so your sprawling, four-bedroom, five-bath dwelling is more square footage than you need right now. Accepting this reality can be emotionally challenging, but when added to the physical aspects of downsizing, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

The idea of sorting through a lifetime of belongings and memories can be a daunting task. The thought of downsizing may seem difficult, but in the end, it can provide a simpler, safer, and more enjoyable way of life. To get started on this journey, finding a home that meets your current needs should be the first step.

Finding The Right Home For Now

To find the ideal home for your golden years, you need to come to terms with why a move is necessary. Is it becoming increasingly difficult to maintain your current home? Do you need help with household repairs, gardening, and general maintenance?

Does your health make it necessary for you to have an assisted living arrangement? Do you have budgetary concerns that you feel will be alleviated by choosing a smaller place? The reason behind the move will lead you in the direction of your ideal home.

Before you even begin your search, get a rough idea of what other homes in your neighborhood are selling for. Doing so allows you to budget out and take stock of any equity you can likely count on for when you purchase a smaller home that could need modifications. For example, right now in Glendora, homes are selling for an average price of $585,000.

Addressing Accessibility At Your New Address

If your current home has become more than you can handle due to health or mobility issues, you’ll want to ensure that your new home is equipped in a way that provides safe and convenient access into and around your home. This will help you to maintain your independence while remaining safe and reducing the risk of falls.

If you’re wheelchair-bound, a wheelchair ramp is an essential addition so you’ll need to prepare for this financial expenditure.  There are many modifications to consider, and the AARP has an excellent guide to home modifications for older adults.  It shows you, room-by-room, what changes are important for keeping seniors safe.

Retrofitting The Bathroom

retrofitted bathroom

The bathroom has many areas that need to be given serious consideration because they can cause problems for seniors. To avoid injuries and increase the ease of use for seniors, consider the following.

  • Since it can be difficult for seniors to sit on low toilets, a comfort-height model is a good idea.
  • Arthritis can make it difficult to turn standard knobs or handles, so easy-to-use lever handles in sinks, bathtubs, and showers should be considered.
  • Grab bars attached to shower walls, bathtubs, and next to the toilet will help seniors stand easily.
  • Non-skid mats are an inexpensive way to keep seniors from slipping in the bathtub or shower.
  • Permanent or removable seating in the shower will allow for comfortably bathing while seated.

When deciding on which of these modifications or others will be needed in your new living space, consider the costs involved and make that part of your overall moving budget.

Preparing For Moving Day

Once you’ve decided on the living arrangement that will best meet your needs, it’s time to decide on what you’ll be taking to the new space. The contents of your current four-bedroom, five-bath abode won’t fit into your new streamlined space, so you’ll have to make some tough choices.

The emotional attachment to your belongings will make this a difficult undertaking, but as you start the process, you’ll find that it isn’t as challenging as you thought it would be.

Decluttering Is Key

Once you start to sort through your belongings, you’ll discover that you have a lot of items that you haven’t used in years and no longer have a use for.  These items can be given to family members or donated to local charities such as Goodwill or Salvation Army. You’ll feel good knowing that your possessions will be put to good use and that you’re helping someone else out.

When deciding what you’ll want to keep and take to your new space, consider not only the size of the space but your lifestyle as well. If you cherish handwritten letters, getting rid of your vintage desk shouldn’t be an option. You’re looking to create an enjoyable living space, albeit smaller.

Moving the items to your new home can be made easier by enlisting the help of relatives. Children and grandchildren can pack your belongings and move furniture or larger items into your new space. There are also companies that can handle this for you and make the move less of a hassle.

The takeaway? Downsizing is a wonderful decision that can enhance your quality of life and improve your ability to remain independent. Make your choice wisely, and know that some mobility concerns are more easily tackled at a new address. Once you have a home with your needs and goals in mind, you’ll be that much closer to living your best life.

By |2019-08-26T22:44:48+00:00August 26th, 2019|retirement|0 Comments