Downsizing is on my mind lately. My parents, my relatives, my friends’ parents… everyone seems to be talking about downsizing.
It’s not surprising—after the holidays, many families get together and the topic of aging parents and downsizing is bound to come up as siblings, spouses, sons, and daughters try to help their families navigate the topic.
Everybody has their own reasons for downsizing, but I love hearing about seniors who want less responsibility at home so they have more time to travel and explore their personal interests!
Of course, the ideal situation is your parents (or you, if you’re at this stage in life)! move into a great place and feel excited for the next stage of your lives. And while there are many things to consider (some that I’ve shared in previous newsletters)—from emotions to finances—there are some very practical aspects to take into account as well!
Here are 5 practical things to take into consideration when downsizing homes:
#1: Buy less than you can afford
There may always be unforeseen expenses down the road, and especially when you’re retired and have a fixed income, it can be helpful to have a healthy savings account, just in case.
#2: Live in a location that’s convenient to your needs
If you like to get out and about but can’t drive anymore, will you have access to public transportation, or easy access to taxis and ride services? Is it important to live close to your doctor for frequent checkups? Do you go to the local gym everyday? Take your lifestyle into consideration so you can stay active and happy for as long as possible!
#3: Make sure the home is suitable to elderly needs
The older we get, the more we have to consider mobility and accessibility. We need to look for things like wide hallways, no stairs, ramps, elevators, and low cupboards for easy reaching.
#4: Have a plan for downsizing your stuff
Whether this means selling or donating items or renting out a storage unit, if you’re downsizing your square footage, you’ll have to pare down your possessions. What things are you willing to part with? What’s the plan for reducing your amount of furniture, for example?
#5: Have extra space for a helper
Someday down the road, you might have a live-in caretaker or you might need an extra bedroom for family and friends who come to visit. Look for a home that has an extra room for someone to sleep in. (If you plan on having a live-in helper, you might look for a home with a “mother-in-law” suite that offers some privacy.)
Selling the big family home and downsizing can bring along its own set of challenges, but it can be a big blessing as well! I would love to help you or your parents find the perfect downsized home to enjoy living well into their older age. Talking to a professional about everything can lessen your burden, and the conversations can often be easier when a third party is involved!
If you’re interested in starting the conversation, I would love to help.
Your Friend. Your Neighbour. Your Realtor.