Making the Right Decisions in a Time of Economic Uncertainty

 

As our country remains gripped by the daily headlines of financial gloom, seniors are faced with increasingly difficult decisions about where to call ‘home’. In the recent past, the most commonly heard objection in the retirement living industry was “I’m not ready yet.” The choice to remain at home primarily based on a desire to preserve one’s independence, remain close to established friends and neighbors, and maintain daily routines. When the objections were eventually overcome or a health crisis required a quick decision, seniors inevitably made the move and place their home on the market (sometimes in the opposite order).

Times have certainly changed and the factors affecting a senior’s decision about whether to move into retirement living are now more multi-faceted. While we continue to hear that the Seattle area real estate market is relatively untouched compared with other areas of the country, there is plenty of uncertainty for senior home-owners. 

 

  • Will my home sell quickly enough?

  • Can and should I accept a lower price when I know how much senior living will cost?

  • What if my home sells too quickly and there aren’t any apartments available at the community I’ve selected?

  • How am I going to downsize my home after collecting so many treasures over the years?

  • Who will support me throughout this difficult transition process?

 

These concerns are valid yet shouldn’t prevent seniors from making sound decisions that will allow them to maintain a healthy lifestyle, social interaction and overall well-being. The following considerations will be helpful to explore while weighing the options of staying at home or embracing retirement living during this time of economic uncertainty. 

Financial Considerations 

  • Is it feasible to move into a senior living community before selling the home?

    • If so, unoccupied and professionally staged homes sell more quickly as potential buyers can better imagine their own belongings in the home.

    • Another option is to move into a senior community but delay the home sale until the market improves. How so? Consider hiring a property management company to manage the rental of your home which will generate revenue to help cover monthly expenses.

  • Will selling the home at a lower than anticipated price cause financial burden or can it be considered a necessary loss in order to maintain a healthy well-being?

  • Have Veteran’s Aid & Attendance benefits been explored as a possible supplement to monthly income?

    • If not, visit www.veteranaid.org to learn about the eligibility criteria for these benefits.

 

Health & Wellness Considerations 

  • If taking medications, are they managed correctly at home?

  • Are chronic conditions a concern and is monitoring needed by a licensed professional?

  • Is transportation available for medical appointments, shopping, and social outings?

  • Is physical activity possible? Access to safe walking paths? Balance and strength training opportunities?

    • Senior living communities promote a healthy lifestyle and provide on-site fitness opportunities in most cases.

  • Are healthy, home-made meals prepared or readily available? (Frozen meals are often very high in sodium; a concern for those with heart conditions.)

  • Special diets, including low-sodium, diabetic and low-sugar options are typically available at senior living communities.

  • Are there daily opportunities to socialize with friends, meet new people, enjoy live music and join a group for an outing to local attractions in the area?

  • Social interaction is among the most important factors in aging successfully and, with this in mind, senior living communities are increasingly dedicated to providing diverse activities that widely appeal to residents and promote intellectual, social and physical well-being.

 

Downsizing Considerations 

  • Downsizing may seem daunting but, by taking one small step at a time, goals can be set and achieved along the way. The following questions are often helpful in deciding what to keep, sell or give away:

    • Does this item enhance the quality of my life?

    • Do I really use this item, particularly if I have several duplicates of them?

    • Will this actually fit in my new location and does it fit my new lifestyle?

    • Does the item hold monetary value?

      • If so, professional appraisal may be an important first step in the decision-making process.

    • Would someone else enjoy or benefit from having this item?

  • Giving to others, particularly during these difficult economic times, provides a great sense of joy and relief in the midst of a difficult downsizing process.

  • Is a professional resource needed to jump-start the downsizing process and provide ongoing support throughout a transition period?

 

HB Move Management offers complimentary, no obligation estimates for our services. For more information, call (206) 257-4314.

​© 2017 HB Move Management

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