When Should I Downsize?

After years of helping seniors downsize and move, I am struck by how little they do to prepare for this move later in life. I find attics and closets full, dresser drawers stuffed and garages taken over by disorderly stacks of unused items and the car sitting outside.

Most of us don’t hear the clock ticking. Life appears to creep from birthday to birthday. The supply of time seems inexhaustible. So you didn’t clean out the garage this month? No problem. There’s always next month. And even though you are slower and stiffer than you care to admit, there is still a nice cushion of years ahead of you before you consider yourself old.

But because you are older, a move at this stage is going to be more difficult. A move at this time of life is hard, too, because it imposes a deadline for making decisions you’ve postponed for years. Also, you are not as prepared mentally as you used to be. Your comprehension slows down as you age. You lose some of the decisiveness that used to provide quick solutions. Distractions are another problem. Your mind will wander just when you want it to focus on the issue at hand. They sneak up on you, these quirks of age.

That brings me to a very important question that I get asked on a regular basis. When should I start the process of downsizing and moving to a more manageable environment or retirement community? That answer is different for everyone. Some find themselves ready at the age of 68 while others are digging their heels in until the age of 95. I do know that after working with seniors for many years and doing hundreds of moves, the decision to move ultimately includes one of the following issues: isolation, transportation issues, declining health for self or spouse or not being able to do the upkeep of their home.

So when does maintaining a home that you have enjoyed for many years start causing undue stress? Does moving to a retirement community or downsizing to a smaller environment outweigh the decision to remain at home? When these thoughts start becoming part of your thinking, it is probably time to pay attention and take stock of where you are and where you might want to be before the big issues of aging sneak up on you.

Karen White of The Right Moves will gladly meet with you to discuss your issues about downsizing and moving. Call her at 941 232-2732 for a free consultation.