Strategies For Senior Downsizing: Key Points To Consider As The Process Proceeds

There are a lot of factors to consider when a senior decides to downsize and move into a smaller place. There may be financial and estate implications to consider along with the process of moving and the emotional ties that may be involved. Family members can do a lot to lend their support during this process and make things go a bit more smoothly for their older loved one.

Seniors face big decisions when it comes to moving

Seniors have plenty of different reasons for moving in their older years, but as TWC News details, the purpose is often related to a desire to simplify their lifestyle. Perhaps the home they had is too hard to maintain or navigate, or perhaps they feel lonely in a bigger place and would like to move closer to family or into a facility where they can connect with other seniors.

When a senior loved one is downsizing and moving, decisions need to be made regarding their old place. In many situations, there is equity built up and selling the home finances the new place. If the equity isn’t necessary before making the transition, it may be helpful to move the senior first and then sell the home. It can be difficult on seniors to have their place on the market while they are still living there, so it may be less stressful to move first and sell later.

 Is selling a senior’s home the best approach?

If a senior is downsizing and moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility due to health reasons, families may need to consider whether to sell their loved one’s home or hold onto it. For example, when a care facility and Medicare are involved, Senior Housing Net notes that it may be best to hold onto the home for financial reasons rather than sell it in order to protect the home’s equity.

Sometimes a home will be transferred to another family member instead, and in situations like this, a quitclaim deed may be something to consider. However, there can be tax implications involved with this type of move. If the family member intends to sell the property right away, a quitclaim deed may raise the tax basis amount, leading to higher taxes due upon a sale. Consulting an attorney to work through this likely benefits all parties involved.

 The downsizing process can get emotional and taxing

As for the process of moving, loved ones should recognize that paring down belongings can be difficult for seniors. Many household belongings are sentimental and when nostalgia is involved, getting rid of items can become challenging and emotional. Families can help their seniors work through this process by allowing plenty of time to sort through things, or as AARP suggests, renting a storage unit for a bit of time.

Movers can be an essential part of the team when it is time for a senior to relocate. The Spruce explains that sometimes it is easier for seniors to work with movers than family members when it comes to a big change like this. Some areas have movers who specialize in working with seniors, so it is worth exploring that possibility when making arrangements.

Have a plan ahead of the big day

Be as prepared as possible for the movers in order to reduce the amount of chaos your senior experiences on the big day itself. In addition, it can be helpful to have a plan when it comes to organizing the new place. For example, if your senior relies on television or radio for relaxation, get those set up right away. In addition, it can help to focus on getting the bedroom and other immediate essentials and some sentimental mementos organized as quickly as possible.

There are a lot of moving parts when downsizing a senior. Decisions need to be made regarding the old home and emotions can run high when it comes to paring down belongings and settling into a new home. Family members can have a big impact on keeping this process moving along smoothly and planning and communication are key to success.


[Image via Pixabay]

Author: Mike Longsdon