Pain-Free Downsizing Tips for Seniors
If you or your partner are nearing retirement, downsizing might be your ticket to a stress-free,
more affordable retirement. Or maybe you retired long ago, but don’t use half of your three-
bedroom home. Downsizing is a great way to cut back on living expenses and lighten your
responsibilities, but there’s a lot of work involved.
For one, you have to move, which means selling your current home. A smaller home means
less space, so you’ll have to downsize your possessions as well. While downsizing while
sheltering in place is difficult and not advisable (unless absolutely necessary), you can start your
planning. Here are some ways to make your downsize as pain-free as possible, from finding the
right home to deciding what to leave behind.
Choosing Your Next Home
First, you’ll need to connect with one of the savvy agents at Maui Life Homes so you have
someone to walk you through this entire process from start to finish. Next, you need to decide
what sort of home you prefer and determine your budget. Do some initial research online and
see what the prices are for homes that are similar to the size you’re looking for. Currently, the
average sale price for a home in Kihei is $882,000. Compare this price to other cities to
determine the affordability of each area, and you’ll head into the search with a good
understanding of what to expect.
You’ll also want to spend some time shopping for mortgages if you’re not buying your home
outright. Lenders offer a variety of loan options, including FHA, conventional, and VA loans.
Examine your finances and your credit history before deciding which option is best for you.
Finding a smaller home isn’t difficult to do, but finding a space where you can age in place is
trickier. The home needs to be already senior-friendly or easily modifiable if you plan on aging in
place. Once you’ve found the perfect home, condo or townhome, you can decide what furniture
to bring and what to leave behind.
Don’t Let Stuff Slow You Down
In years of living in one place, you accumulate lots of belongings. At first, it might not seem like
junk, but anything taking up space that isn’t useful or a harbinger of joy for you can be given up.
There’s no point in spending time moving and packing things you don’t need, so go through
everything and decide whether to keep, sell, donate, or trash it. You can even hire a company to
come and haul away anything you no longer want.
Make a list of your belongings and make an initial decision on what to keep. Things like your
bedroom and living room set will most likely go with you to the new home, but other things like
your formal dining room set probably won’t. If possible, measure inside your new home to get a
feel for how much room you have to work with.
Make Your Move Easy
Whether you’re moving and packing the contents of the home yourself or enlisting help from a
company, it’s going to cost you. That’s why it’s important to get rid of as much stuff as you can.
More to pack and move means more supplies and labor needed to get the job done. Go easy on
yourself when you can and get minor updates and repairs completed ahead of time.
Leaving behind some things might be emotional, but you’re heading into a new chapter of life
and need to clear the way. Plan your move long before you list your home for sale, so you can
handle things as they come. Retirement is all about enjoying life, and you’ll be surprised how
much larger the world can look through a smaller window.
by Michael Longsdon
Image courtesy of Unsplash