July 18, 2019 at 1:45pm | Scott Rodman


Your golden years are supposed to be, well, golden, but sometimes life’s stresses get in the way. What if you could downsize your life? Perhaps you need to move into a smaller home to cut down on maintenance and unused space. Whether you’re looking to downsize from a home to a small apartment, move to a retirement community, or live in an assisted living community, it’s not an easy process. You first have to evaluate your retirement savings to see what kind of lifestyle you can afford. On top of financial stress, it could be that you need to find ways to downsize your stress in general such as with a pet or hobby.
We’ve come up with some tips to help you navigate this season of life and to make downsizing just a little bit easier.
 
Address Your Living Situation
 
At this season of life, you may be left with an empty nest or too much house to take care of. Perhaps the stairs are becoming an issue or all the rooms you have to clean are causing stress on your joints. Whatever the reason, downsizing your home just might be the solution. However, don’t let the process completely drain you. Packing up your home takes a lot of physical energy. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, so if you’re older and need help with the heavy lifting and packing logistics, don’t be afraid to ask! There are specific senior moving companiesthat you can hire that will help you pack up your current home and move all of your belongings to your new space. They can offer sensitivity to the unique logistics that come when a senior moves homes.
Get your finances in order
 
Finances are a source of stress for people of all ages, not just seniors. However, as we age our cognitive ability declines, making it hard to stay on top of finances. Luckily, there are ways to take back control. Consider hiring a daily money manager (DMM) to help you keep track of bills, bank accounts, paperwork, etc. Not only can they help you manage your finances, but it gives you peace of mind knowing there is a second pair of eyes keeping watch for you.
Ease stress with a checklist
Checklistsmake even the hardest experiences a little easier. Make a list of everything that is a stressor in your life, whether it is the clutter in your home, your yard, or your finances. Break everything up into manageable tasks. For example, if your home is the issue, set daily goals such as organize the kitchen cabinet or clean out the closets. Setting small goals will keep you from feeling overwhelmed, and provide you with a visual representation of your success and progress.
Find creative ways to de-stress
Perhaps the stress you are feeling is not so much from your home, but from life in general. Maybe the grandchildren are wearing you out or you just need someone to vent to. If you don’t already have one, why not consider adding a furry family member to the mix. Petsoffer many benefits, including companionship, exercise, protection, socialization, and plenty of snuggles. Don’t let the fact that you are a little slower getting around deter you from adding a pet to your home. There are plenty of dog walkers (a short walk will cost around $16) willing to lend a hand, and some dog breeds need less exercisethan most. Cats are another great option since they don’t require walks. If pets aren’t your thing, explore new hobbies such as yoga, photography, or swimming. Maybe you could start a walking group with friends, or you could all try out a new activity together.
No matter what downsizing task you are taking on, it can take an emotional, mental, and physical toll on you, especially as a senior. Following these tips can help make the process less stressful. Know that you don’t have to do this alone, and you can rely on friends and family to help you through whatever your golden years throw at you.
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