It is often remarked that moving is a stressful experience for most people at any age. But particularly when you are older and you don’t have the energy to do literally “the heavy lifting”, making the decision to downsize can be extremely daunting. From our experience helping thousands of clients downsize over the years, here are three ways to reduce stress when downsizing:
- Understand what you can control vs what you can’t - Too many people get stressed worrying about things they can’t control anyway. Market timing is one of the biggest distractions people get caught up in, often with the encouragement of a real estate agent who is trying to make their monthly quota. “The market is hot right now” is a common refrain, that may be true, but for most downsize sellers, it will also be true when the rest of your timing is right. Don’t get distracted. You can’t control the market.
- Understand Risk - If you’re downsizing, risk for you is not the same as it was 30 years ago. If you make decisions today that are based on what was good for you 30 years ago, it will create rather than relieve stress. A simple example of this is timing. A 40 year old will want her house sold before she moves. She needs to move her mortgage from her current home to the next. Closing for both homes will occur on the same day. She has no other reasonable path. For her, risk would be owning two houses at once. For most 70 year olds, they can afford to own 2 properties at once - or they may be going to rented accommodation in which case the cash flow is easier. Risk for her would be dealing with the unnecessary chaos of booking movers, making downsize decisions, dealing with extra items, etc. all in a single day or two, and typically at the busiest time of the month!
- Make a Comprehensive Plan - Consider your entire spectrum of downsizing needs (i.e. finding a new home, assistance with packing, planning and executing your move, dealing with any excess items you can’t take with you, etc.) before you commit to piecemeal decisions. There are a lot of service providers who supply one of the services that you may need, like a junk removal company for instance. Lots of people will tell you to reduce your clutter and downsize a bit every year and for some families that may be fine. However, for a lot of people considering downsizing, the volume of stuff they have to dispose of has grown over time and often becomes a significant obstacle to making the decision to simplify that could end up affecting their future happiness. Building a considered plan that covers your moving, real estate sale and sale of goods needs can be easier than you think if you take a comprehensive approach to addressing your downsizing needs.
To take advantage of a free no obligation consultation with one of our downsizing professionals, contact us today. We can help you move on.