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For many retirees today, the first order of business after retiring is moving to a more forgiving climate or moving closer to children and grandchildren. And, many retirees who relocate for retirement do so with the goal of finding a comfortable, smaller home that makes it possible for them to age in place. Being in a new home that makes retirement more about relaxation and less about work is even sweeter when the moving process goes smoothly. Our tips for a stress-free move will help you relocate with ease.
1. Research Your New Community
When you decide to relocate for retirement, it is important to be aware of services in the region that can make your golden years more manageable. If you are planning to age in place, you should know which contractors, cleaning services, health care services, and transportation services are available to help you be as independent as possible. Contractors can modify your home, for example, to make it easier for you to get in and out of your bathtub and up and down your stairs. Similarly, cleaning services can take care of chores that become difficult as your mobility decreases.
2. Get a Floor Plan of Your New Home
If you’ve lived in the same home for several years, as most seniors do, you may not know how your belongings will fit into your new place. And, you may be worried about what you can take with you if you are downsizing. One of the first steps you should take is looking over the floor plan of your new home. You’ll be able to decide where to put your furniture and have a clearer picture of your home even before you begin to pack.
For some seniors, having the floor plan of their new home is essential because they won’t have as much space as they were accustomed to, and they cannot take all their belongings with them. Downsizing gives you the opportunity to donate items that you do not use or to give items to your children that you have been storing since their childhood. Your grandchildren especially will enjoy seeing mementos and keepsakes from when their parents were young. Many seniors enjoy having a reason to purge and knowing their new home will not be as cluttered as their previous one. They also appreciate that it is far more affordable to move fewer items to their new home.
3. Have Plenty of Help
Moving to a new place is a lot of work, and seniors run the risk of injury when they attempt to move furniture or other items that are too heavy for them. One option is to enlist family members to help. Family members can make sure that your items are properly labeled and organized in the moving truck to ensure that items you will need immediately, such as your bedroom furniture and toiletries, are easy to access.
Family members also can help seniors sort items as part of the downsizing process. It can be emotional, and going through mementos and keepsakes as a family can ease some of the pain and give everyone a chance to share the joyful memories while deciding what to keep, what to donate to charity, and what to give to family members themselves. If it is too difficult for family members to help their loved ones downsize and prepare for a move, senior move managers are available to assist everyone in the process.
Another type of help you can enlist when relocating for retirement is a moving company. Many moving companies offer packing, loading, hauling, unloading, and unpacking services. These services especially are helpful for seniors moving hundreds of miles from home or for seniors who don’t have family nearby to assist in the packing process.
Relocating for retirement is often bittersweet for seniors. However, knowing that you are downsizing to a home that will make aging in place easier often is worth the time and energy it takes to move. If you research your new community, get a floor plan of your new home, and have plenty of help, your move can be stress-free.
Image via Flickr by Knight Foundation