These Are Your Housing Options When You Decide to Downsize

Helen Flynn June 20, 2019

Once the decision to make a move has been made or is being strongly considered, one must decide what type of living arrangement is suitable and hopefully if not exciting, pleasing. This is a new chapter in your life!

One can dwell on the reality that we are getting older; that the days ahead are fewer than the days past; that some of our dreams like the house at the ocean will never happen, or we can look forward to new friends, new activities, someone else cooking, cleaning, taking care of the lawn; travel, learning new things, and the joy of designing our own days. If there is one word of advice that I have learned it is “DON’T WAIT TOO LONG.” None of us likes to believe that we are getting old. (Notice I said old, not older – it’s the truth). Have you gone to a class reunion lately and seen all those old people? The ones that were in your class that look so old to you? I’ll leave it at that.

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In our last bog, I talked about the signs that we need to consider a move. What do you do, however, if you are ready yesterday to move and your spouse won’t even discuss the possibility? We see this all the time. Gently broach the subject with your spouse or your parents. See where their thinking is. You may be surprised.

There is no question that making a move or downsizing is difficult, but we can manage the level of difficulty. Have you heard your friends say they wished they had done it sooner? Or, have you known friends whose health deteriorated faster than expected and they were no longer eligible for the living situation they preferred? We can divide the living choices in general by age with health and mobility being a factor that will alter the facts.

Ages 55-70 are likely to choose Independent Living, a non-Senior community, or if choosing a Life Plan Community will enter at the independent level.
Ages 70-85 are more likely to consider Assisted Living or Memory Care
Ages 85+ will be found at all levels from Independent to Nursing Care as will some ages 55-70.

There is no GPS for making these decisions. Independent Living includes remaining in one’s home, moving to a smaller home or condo in a diverse community or moving to a community of only independent living or to the 1st level of the Life Plan Community.

Assisted Living ranges from minimal help with medications to assistance with daily activities of life. There may be some dementia care as well in these communities. There are communities that are exclusively dementia care and some Life Plan communities have both nursing and dementia care.

Not only are there many choices out there, but there are even more payment options available which can be very confusing. Making these decisions while trying to estimate if our retirement funds will last for our lifetimes compounds the dilemma.

Stay tuned! I will be hosting a video series with key individuals in this process. Be sure to subscribe today in order to be notified of these interviews! 

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