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Downsizing Your Parent Can Be Very Emotional

Downsizing Your Parent Can Be Very Emotional

March 22, 2023

Downsizing Your Parent Can Be Very Emotional

We all resist change and as we age professionals tells us that change can be more emotional. So what can be done to help you and your family downsize a parent or parents?  Here are proven methods to reduce some of the stress in often difficult situation.  Start the conversations earlier rather than late in the needed relocation. Bring up others your parents know that have recently moved to right size and some of the reasons for the change. Often to get closer to family and medical providers. Safety of the parent is key reason to move and how will the new space and setting address safety. 

Another thing to do is go visit the area or community to consider. Not sure you can engage early on Certified Senior Advisor with unique training and often localized insights on best fits for community saving time and hassles. Many of these advisor get paid a fee by the communities so you do not need to hire or pay for advice directly. Usually best to utilize them when conditions are such that require some assistance like meals, medicine management and other hands on activities. A popular intermediate step is going into 55+ apartment or townhome community that has some activities and services to help ease the transition towards change. 

One often large barrier from even getting started in the conversation is what to do with all the stuff accumulated over the decades of living and thought of getting rid of stuff can be very emotional process. Usually family can pitch in and sort out what is keeper, what is give away and what is good to be sold for money. There are of course downsizing or declutter experts you can hire on hourly fee or auction houses if there are several items you wish to sell. I have found that an outside party can talk about declutter benefits with confidence and how it made others better off doing so in many ways.

Selling real estate residence or renting it out with pros and cons clearly listed and based on the asset or cash flow needs will be best served written on paper with professionals. One often overlooked aspect of paid off mortgage house is that maintenance and taxes and insurance are much higher than most think they are paying- get it written out clearly is first step. Older home verses newer home weighs in heavy on insurance costs and upkeep or repairs. Don’t overlook potential for rental if the area supports rents well as cash flow from many fixed income vehicles may be less helpful towards desired income stream.

Asking or engaging the conversations in positive manner with parents likes and dislikes and truly listening to them and addressing their concerns early on eases the tension and emotions. One of the most common messages I have heard over the decades from my mother and clients is this,” I do not want to be a burden on you.”  Find out the emotional blocks or concerns with loving conversations and what the future may look like if changes made now.

Do not overlook getting financial and tax support on the various options from financial advisors and tax professionals before venturing too long or committing to a plan.  For many moving and reducing hassles of maintenance and other ongoing commitment will out weigh staying. One other consideration if staying and committed to staying put is main priority then explore a reverse mortgage as one of the options to help with cash flows and increasing needs. Moving tied up cash in real estate as residence into rental or into fixed income vehicles or annuities can be emotional and financially complex decision and often best to be done with guidance.

If you would like to have conversation with experienced advisor and one that has guided hundreds of transitions over the past three decades then reach out to me 407-644-9411 extension 2 or