When is the right time to downsize? This can be a difficult question for both seniors and their families. According to the Canadian census, 6.5% of seniors who are 65 years and older live in seniors retirement homes or assisted living residences. Not surprisingly, this figure jumps to 30% Canadians once they reach 85 years and older. In addition, due to improved health, longer life expectancy and increasing availability of home care options, more than half of Canadians 55 years or older indicate that they intend to continue living in their homes for as long as it will be possible.
So what is the right time to start planning for the future and decide if you should downsize?
Take a Proactive Approach to Downsizing
Through our 30+ years of experience in the downsizing business, we have seen that for most people the decision to downsize tends to be reactive rather than proactive. Seniors often find themselves forced to take action when there is a sudden change in their circumstances i.e. health, wealth or mobility. Although Gordon’s is equipped to provide best-in-class services to support a reactive situation, our hope for soon-to-be downsizers is that they don’t find themselves in a stressful situation where they must make tough decisions under pressure. We advise and prefer to work with clients months and even years before they actually plan to make their downsizing decisions so that they can find the best living situation to meet their changing needs.
Factors to Consider when Downsizing
When considering when will be the right time for you to downsize, we recommend that potential downsizers reflect on the following questions.
- Do I want easier access to more social activities?
- Do I want to live near others of similar age and experiences?
- Do I feel lonely or isolated in my current living situation?
- Do I feel unsafe living in my house for the fear of being an easy target for burglars?
- Am I tired of preparing all my meals and performing household chores?
- Am I having difficulty maintaining my ideal lifestyle at my current location?
- Am I worried about being alone if I fall or become ill?
If you answered “no” to many of these questions listed above, then you probably feel safe, socially stimulated, and able to manage daily activities.. In this instance, staying put may be the right decision for now. However, if the answers to many of the above questions are a resounding “yes” and you have the financial ability to commit to a retirement living community, it is time for you to consider downsizing your home. Gordon’s Downsizing and Estate Services has a team of highly qualified experts ready to remove the physical barriers of managing the move or disposal of personal items that are no longer needed, and preparation and sale of property that may be preventing you from making your move sooner.
Given that the key to longevity revolves around remaining healthy, safe, intellectually stimulated and fulfilled, the right living environment is a definite driver of long, happy life. .
Don’t Put off Downsizing
As you consider your future, keep in mind that having to make major life choices directly after a life changing event and having to work under an accelerated timeline only adds to the stress. At Gordon’s Downsizing and Estate Services, we provide genuine support and professional advice from the moment you contact us and throughout your downsizing journey. In other words, from the moment you sign a no-cost agreement with us, you gain exclusive access to our expert advice and transition support, for longer with no increase in cost.
If you are interested in learning more about how Gordon’s can help you smoothly transition to a simpler lifestyle now or in the future, contact us today for an exploratory chat. We work with seniors and their families throughout Ontario, including the greater Toronto area, Ottawa, Kingston and the Quinte area. Let us offer the help you need to live a happier, healthier life.
Editor's note: This post was originally posted in Feb 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.