How to Downsize Safely and Effectively in Your Senior Years

shschicagometro 17 Jun 2021

Are you thinking that now’s the time to leave big-house life behind? If so, you’re in luck. Despite the pandemic, the real estate market is strong, interest rates are low, and it’s still a great time to buy and sell. But you can’t go into the process blindly. Here are some tips from Seniors Helping Seniors to get you started on the right track.

Look at your budget

Take a look at your budget to determine what you can afford and have your funding figured out so when you find the home you want, you can act quickly. Chase and many other lending institutes offer free affordability calculators. In these, you can input data, such as your home price, down payment, and monthly expenses. This can give you a ballpark figure to determine your potential future living expenses.

Know your needs

Now that you understand your finances and have a price range, it’s time to compare what you can afford with what you need, and then make adjustments to your list as necessary. Many seniors, according to Home Tips For Women, look for features such as a small house, which comes with lower utility costs, and excellent lighting. These, along with things like single-level living and wide doorways, allow for greater mobility, an important consideration if you’ve already begun to experience mobility issues.

Scale down without guilt

Something some seniors may not realize during the process is that moving into a smaller home will require downsizing your belongings as well. Once you have chosen your future home, you can evaluate the belongings in your current one. This is an emotional process that takes patience, and, ideally, you’ll have cooperation from your friends and family. It’s usually best to give your adult children and grandchildren family heirlooms now so that you’re not tight on space and don’t have to pay to have them moved.

Find a reputable moving company

Speaking of having things moved, choosing the right moving company is something else that deserves special attention. Movers charge different prices, even for what appear to be the same services. Your moving company will factor everything from whether you need an entire truck to how far you’re moving to the overall weight of your household goods into the price. Don’t be afraid to get several quotes and check the company’s reputation before you sign a contract. This can be done by asking for past customers’ references, and if they have a list of seniors they’ve moved, even better. You can also check ratings and online reviews on service directory sites like

Also ask about whether they provide services like packing and offsite, temporary storage if you foresee needing it. If you will need packing services, ask how your belongings will be stored and labeled.

Enjoy your retirement

Finally, and most importantly, let yourself enjoy the process. Your retirement is a time of change and to feel all the excitement associated with it. Moving is not always easy, but the end result of downsizing is more financial freedom and better quality of life during your senior years.

Downsizing during your senior years is a significant lifestyle change, but Chicago has a lot to offer retirees. Get your finances in order and start exploring your options. With proper planning and preparation, you’ll find your dream home and be settled in before you know it!

Could you benefit from a helping hand? Seniors Helping Seniors in-home services can offer assistance with day-to-day tasks so you or your senior loved one can live independently! Call 312-526-3666 or send us a message to learn more!

Article contributed by Libby Howell at

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