Hundreds of thousands of seniors relocate across state lines every year and moving away from familiar people and places creates specific challenges. Although moving affects everyone from school-aged children to adults relocating for work, our valued elders experience unique challenges.
Many discover that large family homes become underused after children grow up and move out. Upkeep, maintenance, and landscaping seem more like expenses and chores than lifestyle assets. Whatever the reason Baby Boomers and, soon, Gen Xers decide to move, these are challenges and solutions worth considering.
1. Recognize the Telltale Signs You Need to Downsize
It’s sometimes difficult to let go of homes that resonate with heartfelt memories. It seems like each room reminds you of a significant life event. But it’s also essential to recognize the importance of quality of life. If you find yourself struggling with the following, downsizing may be the best solution.
- Underused Space: Empty-nesters discover they simply don’t use rooms that were designed for a larger family. While they may not seem overly burdensome to clean and maintain, you pay taxes and associated costs. That impacts your financial position during retirement.
- Exhaustion: When yard work leaves you tired and takes multiple days to complete, you may have too much land. Working yourself to exhaustion detracts from leisure time.
- Finances: Big houses or those in expensive areas rank among the primary reasons older Americans move to quiet and less expensive areas.
Downsizing tends to resolve many of the challenges seniors experience as they transition into retirement. People with substantial equity or who own their home outright can improve their financial situation.
2. Preparing Your New Home for Physical Limitations
Moving to a new community involves learning the lay of the land, accessing health care, and other necessities. Many retirees find local resources are in place to offer information and recommendations. But the physical space can present challenges that need to be taken care of in advance. These rank among the more prevalent issues.
- Stairways: Some seniors require ramps and lifts to negotiate stairs and are likely to make upgrades to meet this challenge. But people just beginning to struggle physically would be well-served to make changes before moving.
- Thresholds: Our bodies lose muscle mass as we age, and seemingly small things like thresholds become problematic. It’s reasonable to make alterations when using a walker, wheelchair, or just feel like your legs get tired.
The key takeaway is that age slows our bodies down. Taking proactive measures before moving in helps sidestep unnecessary challenges.
3. How To Manage Relocation Stress
Even when someone eagerly anticipates a move, relation stress can creep up on them. Acclimating to a new environment leaves gaps in people’s daily routines and a loss of familiarity. Having little to occupy your days and too much time to think about it can be a recipe for depression. The good news is that you can help manage stress and anxiety by immersing yourself in the community. Joining local organizations with like-minded people helps establish new bonds. Taking up hobbies and attending social events can rekindle a sense of place.
It may take a little time to build a new life after moving. However, that new chapter in your life can be a rewarding adventure.
Are you downsizing and starting a new chapter? Contact us today for a free quote. We can help with your packing and relocation to make your downsizing move stress-free.