Congratulations. You’ve done your research and everything you can to make the best decision for you and your family regarding your living situation. You made several visits to Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s), Independent Living Communities, perhaps Assisted Living Facilities as well. It’s a big step, but you have finally found a place that feels right.
You’re excited about the peace of mind, freedom, social activities, meals, and no more housekeeping! However…you’re not so excited when you start making a to-do list for your transition.
Where do you start? There are a few resources you will find very helpful in your situation.
1. Putting your home on the market- find a realtor who is a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES designee). A SRES Realtor is familiar with the emotional and financial challenges when selling the family home. They will also work with you to explore housing options to ensure your next home meets your current and future needs. Find a SRES Realtor in your area by visiting www.seniorsrealestate.com and typing in your location.
2. Preparing for and managing your move- hire a Senior Move Manager (i.e. Inspire Transitions). A SMM will help you with a furniture floor plan, sort & prepare for the move, arrange for unwanted items to be sold or donated, coordinate with and supervise movers, unpack and complete your new home set up. A Move Manager will work at your pace and be your advocate throughout the entire process. Be sure to find a Move Manager who is associated with the National Association of Senior Move Managers (www.NASMM.org) to ensure they are professional and adhere to industry standards and code of ethics.
3. Selling your valuable items. There are many options for selling your belongings- Estate Sale Professionals, Auctioneers, consignment, etc. Your Move Manager and/or SRES Realtor will be able to guide you in the right direction according to your personal situation.
4. Making donations & tax write off’s. Unfortunately, some of the things we feel are very valuable do not actually have a great market value. It can be that you benefit more from a tax write off than selling individual items. When you donate items, be sure to request a “donation receipt” for your records. Habitat for Humanity and Goodwill offer free pickups for large quantities or bulky items, this is helpful to know because not all donation centers offer this pickup service.
While it all feels very overwhelming, your Move Manager can guide you one step at a time, at your pace. You will find that your Move Manager is a fantastic source of assurance, assistance, and advocacy for you. Still unsure? Call one of our Project Managers to chat- we also offer a one hour free in home consultation to learn about your situation and explain how we will be able to serve you in your transition.
No matter how you get there, it will all come together in the end. You will feel at home, surrounded by your favorite belongings that offer sweet memories. You will be dining with new friends, enjoying happy hours and all the amenities in the community. Any time there is change, most of us get a little uncomfortable- but when the change becomes our new normal, we can be proud we braved the change and know we’re better for going through it.