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Guest Post: 5 Mistakes That Can Turn Your Downsize into a Major Disaster

Thinking about downsizing? That can be a wise move for many seniors, but if you don’t think and plan ahead, you could end up dealing with more stress than joy. So, if you are planning a downsizing move in retirement, here are some mistakes you should avoid.

Not Researching Assisted Living Options

Have you researched assisted living facilities ahead of your downsizing move? If not, you should seriously consider doing so. Because if you do not think about your assisted living needs now, you could end up going through the hassle of buying and moving into a smaller home, only to have to move again to preserve your quality of life. Assisted living communities provide seniors with the little bit of extra help they need with daily tasks of living, such as preparing meals or getting dressed. At the same time, these communities and facilities still offer a sense of independence, but you will need to take your time deciding which local community is the best fit for you. That can mean scheduling tours and discussing pricing with various facilities, which is why beginning your research early is important. Cost can be an especially important factor, although it shouldn’t be the only one, so make sure you confirm what average prices are in your area. A good place to start your search is with a senior living advisor such as A Place for Mom, which can refer you to 50 facilities of assisted living in the St. Petersburg area.

Not Knowing the Pros and Cons of Downsizing

This may seem like a given for many seniors, but it can be all too tempting to move to a smaller home just because you think that’s what all retirees do. Before you decide that downsizing is the best move for your golden years, however, you need to be aware of the pros and cons that can come with moving to a smaller home in preparation for retirement. If the timing is right and the market in your area is pretty hot, for example, one of the pros of downsizing your home is that you could turn a profit and end up with a much smaller housing payment. If you are planning on moving to a smaller home in a popular location, however, you could end up paying just as much or even more for that new home. While a smaller home will mean less to maintain, you will also have less space for family visits and celebrations. So really weigh these potential risks and rewards to keep yourself from regretting your choice to downsize.

Not Getting Help from Experienced Professionals

If you have a large home that is full of furniture and belongings, it can take some serious time to sort through all that stuff. But you will need to downsize your current possessions in order to keep your new home from becoming cluttered from the start. If you attempt to tackle this project completely on your own, you may never have time to finish, or you may simply feel too overwhelmed. That’s why so many seniors are choosing to hire professionals to help with this essential downsizing task and all the other intricate steps that are involved in such a major life transition. Also known as senior move specialists, these trained and experienced professionals have what it takes to help you make short work of even the toughest downsizing to-dos, and they have the patience and compassion to help you avoid becoming stressed, overwhelmed, or emotionally strained by this transition to a new lifestyle.

Not Budgeting for Extra Costs Involved with Moving

You may already be thinking about how much new home you can afford or how much you can reasonably spend on assisted living costs. While these expenses will likely make up the bulk of your downsizing budget, if you are not factoring in other potential moving costs, you could be setting yourself up for a major financial headache. Some of these expenses can really sneak up on you if you’re not careful, especially if it has been years or decades since you last moved. For example, if you cannot fit all of your downsized belongings into your new home or if you have seasonal items you want to hold onto, you may need to pay an additional monthly fee for a storage unit. Travel fees also come into play when you are working with professional movers, so be sure to get detailed quotes from companies if you plan on hiring this sort of professional help. Other surprise costs that can eat away at your retirement budget include extra charges for moving heavy furniture, packing supplies, and fees for disassembling furniture.

Not Taking More Time to Choose the Right Location

Seniors who are planning on moving well ahead of retirement have the time to research and choose the perfect new destination. If you are making a move for financial reasons or have other pressing needs for relocation, you could end up making a huge mistake when it comes to choosing your new home. For example, many older adults may think that moving to be closer to their kids and grandkids is a no-brainer, but this sort of move isn’t always as simple as it may seem. So before you move closer to family, you need to really think about your needs, both now and as you age. Because while being nearby to attend school concerts and family holidays may be convenient, finding ways to fill time in-between those events can be challenging, especially in a completely new community. Not to mention, your family may end up moving later on, so you have to think about these possibilities, and whether you will still be happy with your move.

Downsizing is a big decision that requires huge commitments. Make sure you have a solid plan so that your downsizing move will cause more relief than stress.

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