Arnold Shuchat PREC Real Estate Blog


The Primary Concerns of Seniors Thinking About Downsizing

The Primary Concerns of Seniors Thinking About Downsizing

Downsizing can be a difficult decision for seniors, as it involves leaving a home they may have lived in for many years. The primary concerns of seniors considering downsizing include financial considerations, emotional attachments to the home, and logistical issues such as finding a new place to live.

Financially, seniors must consider whether downsizing will provide enough money to cover their living expenses in retirement. They may also need to factor in costs associated with moving and any renovations that may be needed on the new property. Emotionally, seniors may struggle with the idea of leaving a home they have lived in for many years and all the memories associated with it. Logistically, they must find a suitable place to move to that meets their needs and budget.

Overall, downsizing can be an overwhelming process for seniors due to the financial, emotional and logistical considerations involved. It is important that they take time to carefully weigh up all these factors before making any decisions.

Seniors can reduce the risks associated with downsizing their home by taking time to thoroughly research all aspects of the move. This could include researching potential new homes and communities, gathering detailed financial information and assessing both short-term and long-term costs. It is also important to understand any tax implications associated with selling a home and take steps to protect oneself from scammers or fraudulent activity.

Seniors should also talk to family and friends about the move, as well as seek professional advice from an experienced financial planner or real estate expert. They should also make sure that their legal paperwork is in order before making any decisions. This could involve for example determining who is on title of the family home and whether either or both of the partners are legally capable of contracting.  In those situations where there may be questionable legal capacity, planning must start at the earliest stage so that there will be no delays when decisions are finally made to make a move.  Nothing is more frustrating than being tied up legally in a downward trending market and being unable to transact while awaiting a pending court decision regarding changes to title, powers of attorney, or court appointed trustees.

Life is a journey and as we all have learned as we get older, there are very few certainties in life except death and taxes. Making a move after the loss of a life-long partner is extremely stressful, time consuming and often overwhelming for the survivor.  Why wait until a crisis to adjust your living situation? Make it a joyful party and make the most of the adventure with your partner while you are both in good health.

An analogy one can think of is the price of life insurance.  When we are 20 years of age, we think that our chances of dying are akin to that of being hit by lightning; fractions of a percent.  Fast forward to age 70 and ask an insurance agent or your doctor what the chances are of having a major medical event within the next 5 years and the statistics could throw you into shock!

So, I will conclude with the following advice.  Regardless as to your intentions within the next while about making a move, at least start the inevitable project of decluttering your home. If you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it. Facebook marketing is a great tool to turn “stuff” into cash with about 3 clicks and a few pictures with your phone. You will at least enjoy the increased breathing space and you really might come to learn that you do not really need all of the space you now think you do!

Author's note: I am a Realtor in British Columbia and a former lawyer. My practice focusses on senior's housing, foreclosures, estate sales, family disputes, all other complicated and intimidating real estate matters and generally, making the experience actually pleasant, more profitable, easier and hopefully more fun for all involved.


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