How do you know you've been waiting too long to downsize? There is no easy answer.
From our experience, we have seen people wait to find “just the right thing”, only to find "the thing" never became available. This resulted in them missing both the best, and next best, options.
When they finally decided they had to do something they moved to a retirement community - too late. One spouse fell in the new and strange environment. Her husband was taken ill shortly thereafter and passed too.
Why do we judge this as waiting too long? Essentially, the home they enjoyed for 35 years had become a burden and a prison for the last five, while they were “waiting” for the right events to occur.
The couple in question had significant financial resources and a number of excellent choices were available to them, but their focus on a single solution combined with no objective guidance, saw them drifting through their last six years of life in discomfort and stress.
Here are some more examples of those who waited too long and suffered needlessly as a result:
The Downtown Downsizer
A widow lived happily in her elevated corner bungalow for 35 years. For the last 5, she hired staff to get virtually everything done- including her extensive garden, lawn, snow, etc. She arranged with us to get her moved to a new waterfront apartment, and sell her some and extra things. All went quickly and as stress free as it could.
Shortly after the move she developed hip and joint issues that virtually eliminated her ability to enjoy the waterfront and downtown market walks, walks to lunches with friends, and exercise classes right in the building. Her pension allowed her a comfortable financial life but her health would have been much more positively affected had she been in the apartment environment sooner. Many of us love our current home and are reluctant to move even when our ability to manage it erodes.
What we need to be conscious of is our own evolution. Ask yourself everyday; is the home I have always loved the best home for me now?
The Military Widower
A 92-year-old WW2 aircraft bomber crew member loses his second wife. A post military career in law enforcement left him overly aware of the threat of vandalism- particularly in his isolated country bungalow. He correctly understood that the house had fallen into a state of disrepair and mess that would make it less than presentable to sell.
At the same time, moving to retirement and allowing the house to be cleaned and presented for market would mean a short period where the property was vacant. Paralyzed by what he thought a dilemma, he made no serious attempts to move, other than interview the odd real estate agent from time to time.
He remained stuck in the house- which he no longer enjoyed as he had when he could care for it until he floated between the services of assisted care in a retirement community, but not quite on a priority list for long term care.
Again, he had the financial resources to change venue right after his wife passed (or sooner had they both wanted to). In case, like too many, relatives were preoccupied with their own lives and paid little attention to what dad was up to.
This client finally found Gordon's Estate Services through his sister who had seen our services in action. We got him on track, moved, shipped sold his extra items as he wished, and presented and sold his house in a way in which he could feel good about it. The new environment provided more options, social connections and energy, bringing much more joy to this chapter of his life. Better late than never!
The Frustrated Condo Owner
Elaine and her sisters just moved their parents to long-term care. None of the three lived near their parents' condo which they needed to sell, along with the contents that would not be remaining with the family. While not highly valuable, they contents needed to be cleared and many things were far too good to simply throw away.
She made 22 calls trying to find a company that would manage the personal property and leave the condo empty for sale (or staged for sale). All attempts ended in frustration as each gave her different versions of “we can’t help you”. Fortunately, the last call she made got her connected with an integrated real estate and transition company. One that would provide seamless management of all personal property issues, deal within the restrictive condo policies, while finding buyers for every saleable item, then carrying the condo through to a successful sale result- all in about five weeks.
As you can see, there are countless situations when the decision to downsize came too late. It can be challenging to find a solution that seems like the right fit. The unfortunate reality of our world today is that there are many service providers who can provide one small piece of the solution- and leave the remaining problem even bigger than they found it. It’s key to find a provider who can actually solve the entire problem. They’re out there.
To find out how we can help, contact us today.