Making the Decision to Downsize: How Seniors can Benefit
Making the decision to downsize is a big life change, and many seniors feel ill-prepared to jump into buying a home after retirement. Though it can be an overwhelming process, it’s important to remember that there are many benefits to moving into a smaller home rather than staying put or renting. (Scroll down for listings of Ranch Homes for Sale near Charlotte NC).
For one thing, a smaller home means less to take care of, and that’s great news for seniors who are concerned about their mobility or health issues. It also means fewer taxes in some cases, as well as a reduction in utility bills and monthly expenses. Owning your home means you’ll have an investment that can be passed down to your children or grandchildren, as well, and that’s something you can be proud of. Read on about the benefits of downsizing and how you can get started.
Benefits of downsizing and how-to get started
Sorting Your Belongings
Moving is a big job, and downsizing is even bigger because it requires a little more prep work. Going through your belongings is the first step, so ask a friend or loved one to come and help you from
Downsizing to a smaller home means you won’t have to worry about taking care of a huge lawn or cleaning several rooms every day. If you’re used to living in a larger house, vacuuming, dusting, and mopping will feel like a breeze in a smaller home. If your current home has stairs, look for a ranch-style home that’s all one level so you won’t have to worry about climbing to and from the second floor ever again.
Moving is a big, physical job, so one of the first things you’ll need to do is hire people to help; do online research and make calls to find the best company to suit your specific needs. Not only will movers be able to take over the heavy lifting, they can also get it done more quickly and efficiently. Moving can be emotionally painful for many seniors, so get out of the house for a while if it becomes too much and leave the work to the professionals.
Make life easier
Take a look at your community and the ones surrounding you; is the cost of living higher where you are? You may be able to find a home in a less expensive area that isn’t too far away, meaning you’ll save even more money with the move. Not only that, you can also look for a home that was built a little more recently, which can reduce repair costs for you down the line. After retirement, most seniors don’t want to worry about having to replace a roof or a hot water heater; buying a newer home means security.
Improve your well-being
Living in a home that requires less maintenance, less of a financial burden, and has fewer or no safety hazards will improve your quality of life and allow you to focus on enjoying your retirement (learn more about new home safety checks to perform here). Downsizing is most beneficial when it helps keep an individual safe and healthy, so look for opportunities in your new home that offer safety features. This includes flooring that won’t cause falls, flat surfaces outside instead of steps, a bathroom that can be easily altered to fit your needs (for instance, installing a shower stool/grab bar, lowering or raising the countertops), and lighting that allows you to see easily at all times.
Making the leap from a larger home to a smaller one doesn’t have to be a painful process.
When you decide that you’re ready to downsize, take the time to go through your belongings, look for a home that offers you long-term comfort with less upkeep, and focus on finding something that can age with you. The preliminary work that goes with downsizing pays off
Guest Article by Jim Vogel of ElderAction.org