Seniors and Downsizing: 6 Reasons Seniors Consider for Downsizing
Today I am embarking on a four-part series on “downsizing”. First, I will explore reasons seniors choose to downsize and move. Following me will be two experts who will share their expertise on how they serve seniors not only in finding a new home, but also preparing to move. The last expert, an architect, will share ways for seniors to downsize and stay in their home.
The definition of “downsizing” is probably easy to determine, just from the word itself. But I want to make sure we’re all on the same page (I hate ambiguity). The simplest definition, I believe, comes from Merriam-Webster and simply put, it is “to reduce in size.” For seniors this could mean reducing the amount of living space, giving away or selling possessions, moving or all three. Here are six reasons a senior might choose to downsize:
- Empty Nest – The kids are gone, and there seems to be too much empty space. Aaron Crowe, writing in Mortgageloan.com shares things seniors should consider before moving.
- Upkeep – Mary Spann, owner of Upside of Downsizing, shares the down side of maintaining a home that may now be too big to fit a senior’s needs.
- Health – Tim Parker, writing in Investopedia, cites health as a factor to consider whether you are already a senior, about to become one or thinking about moving your parents in with you.
- Too Much Stuff – Margaret Manning, owner of Sixtyandme.com, shares how she simplified, keeping only what was “useful and beautiful.”
- Erasing Debt – Dave Ramsey, well known wealth builder and financial planner, shares how downsizing can relieve financial pressures many face in retirement.
- Closer to Family – Emily Brandon, the senior editor of retirement for U.S. News and World Report, shares that seniors may wish to be closer to kids and grandchildren.
It’s estimated that there are approximately 75 million baby boomers in the U.S. today and of that number, experts estimate that 10 million will downsize and eventually move. Though this translates to only 13%, it is still a significant number and cannot be ignored.
For my money, I believe this figure may be a bit low. Whatever the figure is, the fact remains that many seniors are downsizing, either moving or staying in place. I hope you will stick with me for the next three weeks to learn what factors the experts say should be considered as well as what services and options are available to help seniors move or stay in place.