Featured Articles for the 55 Plus Community
* Should You Move to be Closer to Your Grown Children?
* Tips for Senior on Making a Smooth Transition to a Smaller Space
Should You Move to Be Closer to Your Grown Children?
Written by Cyndi DePalermo
Having grown children who have left the nest is an accomplishment most parents are proud of.
Those children may marry, buy a home, and even have children of their own.
As parents grow older and retire, they may consider relocating to be near their adult children. Is that a good idea?
Parents should carefully evaluate whether-or-not this is a wise choice.
- Everyone on the same page? What do your children think about this possibility? What about their spouse? Be sure if you do move, you are a blessing and not a burden.
- Location, location, location. Location is a key factor to consider. If you are accustomed to the peace and quiet of country living and they live in or near a big city, can you embrace that lifestyle? If you now live near a big city and you would be relocating to a rural environment, could you adapt to that? Longer drives to the store, entertainment venues, or doctor visits could pose a problem.
- Change of climate. If you are accustomed to all four seasons, will you be happy in a colder or warmer climate year-round?
- Leaving familiar people and places. Knowing the guy at the meat market and seeing your favorite cashier at the grocery store is something that some people really appreciate. Not seeing your doctors, dentist, church, and friends might be an issue for you. Making new friends can become a challenge for those who might not be so outgoing.
- New role. What will your new life look like? Spending quality time with grandchildren should be a delight and not necessarily a new responsibility. Will you build your new life around your adult children and grandchildren?
- What is your reason for moving? If you have a disability, or have serious health issues, will you become a burden to your children, or can you supplement their help in another way?
Having adult children with you at doctor appointments may be helpful. However, will this be convenient for them? Will they have to miss work, etc.?
Being near adult children and grandchildren can certainly be a blessing. If you must fly or drive a good distance to visit it could limit your time together. Being closer at this time in your life could just be what you need to lead a more fulfilling life in your golden years.
Tips for Seniors on Making a Smooth Transition to a Smaller Space
You don’t have to live large to live luxuriously. In fact, as you get older, you may find you have a better quality of life and lower expenses by downsizing your space. This is great news, especially if you are planning to buy a new home. With the unfortunate arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market, has recently given buyers a bit of wiggle room, meaning you can squeeze every last drop of value out of your new home (homes in League City have been selling for an average price of $281,000). If you are in the early stages of considering a late-life move, keep scrolling for a bit of advice on how to make the transition without stressing yourself out. Just keep in mind that downsizing in this current environment will require extra patience as we wait out the current coronavirus lockdown.
Start with a Visit to Your New Home
First things first: Moving is an emotional process. Even if you are excited about the prospect of having fewer square feet to keep clean, you are likely going to feel some sense of loss. It can help to pay a visit to your new home or hometown well before you begin packing to get a preview of what you have to look forward to. While moving into a smaller home will not be the same as taking a vacation, the money that you net from the sale of your existing property can go a long way toward helping you enjoy the local amenities.
If you are moving into a retirement community, make a point to visit two or three times so that you can get a better idea of the different activities the campus has to offer. Most independent and assisted living centers (assisted living costs an average of $3,545 a month in Texas) will be happy to give you a tour, feed you dinner, and let you participate in a few community events as a get-to-know-you experience.
An alternative to both could be for the senior to move into an accessory dwelling unit on a family member’s property. Not only will this allow the senior to move into a familiar space and save money on rent or monthly payments at a retirement community, but it also allows them to participate in family activities on a more frequent basis. On the flip side, if a senior adds an accessory dwelling unit to their new property, they can rent out the space and use that money to help with mortgage payments, the cost of daily living, and other expenses.
Know Your Load
Once you have decided on where you are going to move, you’ll need to make some tough decisions on which possessions to take with you. Only you can decide what’s most important, so do this well ahead of time, which will make the moving process that much closer to being complete. Make sure you are fully aware of the floor plan of your new home or apartment so that you can make an informed decision on what furniture will fit. The last thing you want when you arrive is to find out that your furniture won’t fit through the front door.
Pick Your Movers Carefully
If you think that choosing a home and deciding which belongings to keep and which to kick to the curb is the hard part, you may be wrong. Hiring the right movers can be challenging, and especially in a world where it is easy to fake credentials. Before you sign a contract with the first set of strong backs to show up, make sure you check the company’s license and insurance. Also, read reviews or get personal recommendations from friends and family. Do not settle for an estimate given over the phone. There is absolutely no way they can accurately predict cost, timeline, or even the size of the truck needed without stepping foot on site. Most importantly, although money may be a concern, choosing the cheapest moving company may be a mistake.
There is certainly much more that goes into a move than this especially during the current pandemic, but the above tips are a great jumping-off point and can help you identify other issues that you need to resolve before you move. If you need additional advice, talk to your realtor. They have tons of experience and can help you smooth out any rough spots as you go from big to better.
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