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Downsizing Steps You Don’t Want to Overlook

When you’re getting ready to move to a retirement community, one of the greatest challenges you’ll face is downsizing your current home. While you already know where you are going, you’ll face decisions in the coming months on what to keep and what to bring along with you. Today, the Mayo Clinic’s Charter House shares a bit of insight that may help you streamline the moving process.

What to Do With Your Home

The first decision that you’ll have to make when downsizing, is what to do with your current home. Your options here include:

  • Selling. Selling your home may be a smart move if you want to cash out a large sum all at once or if you no longer desire the burden of homeownership.
  • Giving to the family. You can give your property to your children in a few different ways. However, if you want them to avoid major tax backlash, consider leaving it in a will or adding it as an asset to a trust.
  • Renting it. Becoming a landlord gives you an opportunity to maintain your home in your name, gain equity, and have a revolving income. There are many pros and cons to this, so make sure that you partner with a property management firm that can handle the day-to-day operations.

How to Downsize Your Belongings

Once you have made a decision on what to do with your home, you’ll have to evaluate your personal property. While you know that you will likely need to get rid of most of your furniture, there are other steps you can take to avoid bringing too much to your continuing care community home. Tips here are to:

  • Digitize your paper records. Don’t let the term “digitized” scare you off. This is a fairly simple process. If you have access to a camera or scanner, you can quickly and easily create files to go into a PDF. It’s not difficult to learn how to edit a PDF, and doing so will help you organize and merge receipts, photos, and other important paperwork.
  • Get to know your future amenities. Depending on where you plan to move, you may not need to bring along things like your dartboard, woodworking tools, or exercise equipment. Charter House offers you access to these and more.
  • Cash out your valuables. Something you may not be prepared for is that your children probably don’t want your belongings. NOLA explains that most adult children these days no longer want the collectibles you held onto over the years. A better option is to have potential valuables appraised so that you can cash out and enjoy the benefits of a little extra cash.

Address the Emotions

Although you may be excited about living an independent and hassle-free life moving forward, it is still an emotional process. This is especially true when your children don’t understand why you hold such sentiment for your home or family heirlooms. This is not the time to push your feelings down. Be open to accepting that this is a journey and that there will be emotional highs and lows. You might wish to schedule frequent visits with your children and grandchildren until you get settled.

Downsizing is never an easy task. And, although this is an exciting time, it’s very easy to overlook certain steps, which can make the process that much more daunting. The tips above, from digitizing your paper documents to choosing what to do with your home, can help you make your move seamless and stress-free.

-Millie Jones