Question: I am a senior and need to move to a retirement community but I am concerned about the move as I have lived in my home for over 30 years and it seems like a lot of work to get ready and I am not sure I am up to it all. Any suggestions to make this easier?
Answer: I don't know if it helps but you are doing what a significant number of seniors are currently doing. Either downsizing or moving into a retirement community. The task appears daunting at the beginning but can be handled without undue stress or frustration. First step is to get your children (likely adults) involved in the process. You will not be surprised that they are concerned as well and may be glad you are considering such a move. Children feel the loss of their childhood home but I always say that the house remains but the "home" goes with you. Memories are stored away in your heart and head and can't be sold or thrown away. This is an opportunity to unload that extra furniture or mementos on the children, if they want them. What no one wants can be disposed of to any number of charities like Salvation Army or Goodwill. If you have wonderful furniture that has a market value, then you may contact a consignment store to evaluate the possibility of selling those items. The consignment store will take a percentage of the sale price and you will get the balance remaining. If your move is into a retirement community, then you can hire an organization to determine which pieces of furniture would fit best and which design items will work on the walls to functionally replicate your home in the smaller unit or apartment or home. This is a great opportunity to simplify life and have more time to enjoy life and not have to more about so many details like yard maintenance or any maintenance issues. If you have made a life hobby out of collectibles but now nobody else wants them including you, then you can connect with an estate sale person who will take the items and sell them and you receive the agreed upon portion of the split. What about the house itself? It may make sense to move first and then put the house on the market, if that is financially possible. That avoids the hassle of having people coming through your home and it makes the task of preparing the home for sale easier. It would not be uncommon to repaint the interior, re-carpet the floors, and give the A/C and furnace a tune-up to help sell the home quicker and for more money. Fix any obvious problems prior to sale. Your Realtor can help you through that process. In fact, your Realtor can help put you in touch with the vendors that can help you accomplish all the necessary tasks, except deciding which child gets which piece of furniture. The hardest part of the change is making the decision to make the change. You will be surprised what a relief it is once that decision is made, for you and the family. Good luck!