Many seniors start thinking about making a move after a health scare or when the upkeep of their current home becomes difficult, but it’s hard to know where to begin. There are a lot of financial considerations to think about, especially if you’re on a budget, but you might also have to downsize your belongings and find a smaller home. There’s a lot of work involved, but if you plan ahead and prepare well, the move will be much easier.
Here are some of the best tips on what to think about before making a move.
Check into affordable housing
Many states give special consideration to seniors where housing is concerned, so it’s a good idea to see if you qualify. Eligibility requirements differ from state to state, so it’s important to contact a real estate agent who has experience with affordable housing.
From the moment you start thinking about a move, you should be saving as much money as possible. Moving can get expensive, even if you have help, and you’ll want some extra cash on hand for unforeseen expenses. The best way to save every week is to think small; clip coupons before you head to the supermarket, or make sure your home is well insulated to save money on your monthly utility bill.
Don’t wait until your home sells before you start packing up and downsizing. Begin with one room at a time and enlist the help of a friend or family member to make “keep”, “trash”, and “donate” piles. This is the best way to pare down your belongings, and it will be helpful to have family members there who might want to take some things off your hands. Also, do some research and hire a moving company.
Ask for a floor plan
Having a detailed floor plan of your new home will help you decide what to take and what to get rid of when it’s time to go through your belongings, and it will also help you get organized. Many seniors have issues with falls, especially when the home is filled with clutter, so it’s important to find a place for everything before you begin moving things in.
Find the right home for you
Making a move is never easy, but when you’re a senior, you might also have health and mobility considerations as well. If your current home has stairs or a large yard that will become difficult to keep up with, it’s important to consider those issues when looking for a new home. You might also want to make a few upgrades if your home doesn’t have all the safety features you’re looking for. Some of these can be inexpensive, such as installing a grab bar in the bathtub or a seat for the shower, but others–such as a chair lift or elevator–will add on a pretty large expense, so planning is key.
Guest Author: Jim Vogel
Jim Vogel created ElderAction.org along with his wife after they became caregivers for their aging parents. The site is dedicated to promoting senior health and providing valuable information to seniors and their caregivers to help ensure our nation’s seniors are able to thrive throughout their golden years.