When planning for retirement, there are a lot of things to consider. But relax, we’ll take care of that. You’ve got trails to hike. Oceans to conquer. Birdies to make. And fortunately for you, that house you’re sitting on is a major ally. After all those years of hard work, it’s paying you back with some rather large equity. But with that equity comes options. Do you sell? Buy? Refinance? That’s where we come in.

Whether you want to relocate or just take advantage of your home’s equity, we’ll help you reach a solution that best serves you. We’ll point out the opportunities and pitfalls. We’ll explain tax implications. We’ll even connect you with other professionals in areas like healthcare and estate planning. All in the name of living the good life. We’ll do our part. You do yours.

Choosing The Right Home: How Seniors Can Find The Perfect Downsize

For many seniors, the decision to make a move isn’t one to be taken lightly. Buying a home after retirement is a strategic move that saves money while ensuring that the homeowner doesn’t have any issues where their health and safety are concerned, and there are many considerations to be made.

Thinking about the type of home you want is key; the size is imperative, of course, since you’ll need something that will allow you to keep up with cleaning and general care in a safe way. Price point is also important, as is location. You might want to find something that’s close to your loved ones, or a home that’s closer to your doctor’s office or to the grocery store. Look for something that meets as many of your needs as possible and will be easy to make changes to.

Here are a few of the best ways to get started with a move.

Know what you want

Make a list of all the things you need in a new home, including size, what kind of yard you’d like to have, price, location, and any amenities. Do some research and find out what’s available in your area; check out the neighborhoods and what will be close by as far as stores, pharmacies, and anything you may need.

As far as the home itself goes, think about what your needs will be five or ten years from now. Are there easy-to-manipulate handles on doors and cabinets? If not, is that a simple, inexpensive fix? Are the countertops built high? If so, that could be a potential problem should you ever be confined to a wheelchair. Think about the size of the yard (front and back), whether there is a crawlspace in the attic or a cellar, and how new the appliances (including the hot water heater) and roof are. Those are things you don’t want to have to deal with down the road.

It helps to have a price point in mind before you begin searching; also, if possible, take some measurements to make sure your belongings will fit, especially if the rooms are a lot smaller than the ones in your current home. Look for creative storage solutions to save space and keep clutter to a minimum, as this could be a safety hazard.

Pare down

Downsizing can feel like a daunting task, but there are many things seniors can do to make the process easier. Go through your belongings ahead of the move, and start deciding what to take and what to leave behind. This will require some difficult decisions, but they’re necessary ones. Ask your loved ones to help you with this process, and try to be practical. If you have many belongings with sentimental value, consider finding new ways to keep them around. For instance, you might have a large collection of photo albums; instead of taking those to your new place where they’ll take up a lot of room, think about scanning them into your computer and putting them on a thumb drive or on a disk. That way, they’ll still be accessible whenever you want them.

One way you can make your downsize go more smoothly is to have a yard sale. When going through your things, make piles for the items you want to take to the new home, the things you know you can throw away, and the items you can sell. Ask a trusted friend or loved one to assist you in pricing and setting up tables and racks for the sale, as well as making signs you can hang around your neighborhood telling everyone where and when the sale is.

Moving is a big job, so make sure you find the right movers to help you get through it. Don’t rely on friends and family; although they may want to help, it’s usually best to let professionals take over so you know none of your belongings will be broken or lost.

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To:  Emil Ratti