Feb 26, 2021

The Right Time To Downsize

Moving from a larger home to a smaller home can happen at various stages in life.  Certainly, once the kids are gone and the couple are now officially empty nesters, it could be a good time to downsize.  It might also be the time to determine what floor plan makes the most sense for that stage in life.  One story living is always better as we get older.  It might be that fewer bedrooms make sense in favor of a home office or exercise room. 

Downsizing once the kids are gone is actually a pretty easy decision to make.  What is harder is downsizing as we grow even older.  If we are lucky enough to be married for many years into our 70's and beyond, sadly the day will come when a spouse will die.  Aside from the trauma of losing a life partner, all of a sudden the remaining person must face many decisions.  If the spouse that died used to take care of all the day to day finances, bill paying etc., it may be that the remaining spouse knows little or even nothing about what it takes to run the household.  Hopefully, there is a good will or estate plan in place to deal with financial matters; but it can still get very complicated related to just daily living.

This Blogger's mother outlived my father by 17 years.  She was 75 years old when my father died and in pretty good physical and mental shape.  They lived in a 55 or older secure, gated community in a low maintenance patio home with one story living.  We had moved them there many years before.  And fortunately, it was my mother who handled their finances, so there were no gaps in day to day management of her finances or home.  There was no reason for her to move until she was 87 years old when she decided to move into a senior community.  

Even so, as soon as my father died, I took over my mother's finances really to make things easier for her.  So, I took over the check book, which she really did not need to deal with anymore.  All bills went on auto debit.  I gave her whatever cash she wanted monthly since it was her money and or she just used her bank debit card to access cash.  She had a credit card that she used when buying things that was automatically paid every month out of her checking account. 

The point is that we thought ahead.  When my father died, while my mother dealt with her grief, since we had moved them into a brand new home in a very safe community from a home they had owned for 31 years,  my mother experienced no disruption to her life.  If they had still been in their old home, given that they lived many miles from family, we would have had to deal with a move then, or even sooner during the 2 years my father was very sick before he died, which would have been much more difficult. 

As we hit our 70's, we need to start having the "what if" discussions with family.  What if a spouse dies, which is inevitable.  It is best to plan ahead and make a move when both husband and wife are healthy.  The home should work for the remaining spouse when the other spouse dies.  Dealing with grief is more than enough to face, without the need for a move too.  At Paragon Home Resources we assist families with downsizing for a variety of reasons.  We understand the stress of moving; but we make it as easy as possible as we assist with both selling and buying homes, as well as, dealing with household goods.  We get the job done to make life decisions as easy as possible.