Finding the perfect place for your golden years, financing the transition, and then planning the actual move itself can all be pretty stressful. On top of that, what if you need long-term care down the road? Just arriving at the conclusion it’s time for changes can be tough enough, but all the other complexities can make you feel downright overwhelmed. Before things start feeling like they're spinning out of control, follow along with these tips from Thriving—and learn how a life settlement could help.
Aging in Place
Aging in place is a wonderful lifestyle goal for seniors, and it is often a key focus of their downsizing plan. If this is one of your goals, think in terms of a home that will promote your independence if mobility becomes a problem later on. This would include things like single-floor living, an open floor plan, a senior-friendly bathroom, and a no-step entryway. Also look for a home with low-maintenance features, such as easy-care landscaping, low-maintenance siding, and non-slip floors. You can use a checklist to help make your home shopping easier. Think about what supplies you may need for your senior
Keep in mind homes might not offer all of the features you decide are priorities, but many homes can be relatively easily modified to suit your needs. For instance, if you find a home you like that has an open floor plan, you might be able to install an attractive ramp and railing to make coming and going a breeze.
Even if your current home is paid for and you think the sale will provide all the money you need, do some shopping around to get a better feel for what your new place might cost. As Business Insider explains, smaller homes are hot in the real estate market. The competition is keeping prices higher than you might expect, and you’ll need to budget accordingly.
Keep in mind that as you work through your finances, you have financing options besides your home sale and retirement income to work with. For instance, many seniors are surprised to learn that they can still qualify for a mortgage, even if they are retired. You might want to plug some numbers into a worksheet to help you develop a solid budget for your purchase.
Envision Every Angle
Even if you’re in great health right now, chances are you’re more than aware of the changes that often go hand-in-hand with aging. Joints might not be as limber as they once were, circulation can wane, and senses become less acute. For many seniors, this can mean assisted living may be an important consideration. As U.S. News points out, an assisted living facility costs an average of $4,000 per month. However, if you’re experiencing health concerns, struggling with daily activities, or are at risk for becoming isolated, it might be time for the transition or to consider hiring in-home assistance.
It’s important to note this is where your life settlement can come in. Insurance News Net explains there is a movement toward seniors being able to use their life settlements to pay for long-term health care expenses. Since this situation is developing, talking with a professional financial planner can help you determine if this is an option for your circumstances. It can make the difference between being able to afford the long-term care you require and trying to manage without.
Prepare for Your Move
Wherever you decide is the right living environment for your needs, make sure you start the decluttering process long before your moving day. It can be time-consuming, since not only does it take a while to sort belongings, but you might find it’s challenging to part with some items linked with memories. Also make arrangements for movers well in advance, since reputable moving companies tend to become booked up.
Choosing the right moving company for seniors takes time for research and communication, so be sure to not wait until the last minute to decide. Make sure your moving company is reputable—checking references and review sites like Angi.com is always a great idea—and is able to provide all the services you need. Some companies, for example, assist in the packing process while others do not. Go online to check on customer feedback and ratings, and don’t be shy about asking questions such as whether they can provide a binding quote or a not-to-exceed estimate.
Downsizing can be overwhelming, but planning ahead will make it easier. Do some research on properties and your finances. The right choices will come to you if you take your time and think things through.
Written by: Harry Cline