So you’ve made the decision to downsize and relocate to a retirement community or senior friendly city. What are your next steps?
Review your finances with a trusted accountant or financial planner. Carefully review all of your options for repaying debts before clearing out their retirement funds and savings accounts. Selling the big family home, using the money to become debt-free, and moving to a smaller, easy-to-maintain condominium could be exactly what your advanced age calls for.
Once you have a good handle on finances after debts are paid, set your budget. With a budget in hand, you can move to the next step.
Identify what you want in a retirement home. Are you looking for great weather, lots of activities, cost of living, meeting like-minded people? Is mobility an issue? Is there easy access to good medical care? Is there easy access to transportation options or are you in close proximity to grocery stores, church, and doctors? How far are you willing to be from family.
Lots of questions to ask yourself but be sure to think through this move and prioritize what is most important to you. Also make sure that your home will accommodate your needs as you age.
Don’t wait until your move is 30-days out to start packing and sorting through potentially decades of stuff. Start organizing your home now. Check out our article, Downsizing for Retirees: Help to Get Rid of the Junk.
One great tip – get a floor plan of your new home to use as a guide for how much furniture and valuables to bring with you.
I highly recommend hiring a real estate agent to help you get the most for your home. Ask for references and make sure that you feel that they understand your wants and needs.
Call as soon as you’ve decided to downsize…even before you are ready to sell, to get a feel for what time of year is the best time to sell and to identify if there are any repairs or updates needed to help your home sell faster.
Since you already started organizing and decluttering, this part won’t be as stressful. Try to pack a bit each day. Label each box with what’s inside and where it goes. Put a big bright sticker on the boxes that contain essentials. Here’s a great article about packing tips and tricks.
Also, start contacting friends, family, businesses, and services to change your address.
Find more great advice on moving at moving.about.com.