5 Ways To Help Your Aging Parents Downsize for Retirement
We’re facing an unprecedented time in our country – a situation that has never been addressed on a national scale as widely as it is today: it’s the reality of aging parents who are downsizing a house for retirement.
If you are the adult child of aging parents, you’ve got a difficult situation ahead of you: how do you help your parent downsize their house for retirement? How do you approach the topic? How to do so respectfully? How do you overcome their natural reluctance for change? In this blog post we’ll share 5 ways to help your aging parents downsize their home and life…
#1. Help your parents preserve reminders.
It might seem like your parents keep everything but they’re simply hanging onto the tangible reminders of their many happy experiences in life. Rather than keeping everything, help them see how a small token of the experience will evoke the same positive memories. As an example, they don’t have to keep all of their collectibles, but just two or three of their favorites, which will be reminders of the entire collection.
#2. Give them an opportunity to be generous.
Like most parents, your parents are probably generous people who want to help others. If so, they may not realize that there are opportunities to help others by giving away some of their unused goods. Perhaps extra bedding can be given to a women’s shelter. Perhaps unused clothes will be valued by someone less fortunate.
#3. Suggest they pass on treasured belongings now.
As people age, they start thinking about what they want to leave for others in their will. But a growing trend among the aging population is to pass on those treasured possessions to their loved ones now. That way, your parents can watch with joy as family member receive these gifts.
#4. Help them see what their retirement could be.
Many aging parents thrive on routine and predictability, which may include caring for their home. However, that routine might be actually more challenging to them than they realize because it can be a lot of work to take care of their home. You can help them see that they are giving up their valuable golden years spending too much time caring for a house that is too big for them. If they’re reluctant to move, ask them what their concerns are and help them find a solution that addresses those concerns. (For example, some seniors are worried that moving out of their existing home automatically means they’ll move into a retirement home and family can’t come and stay with them anymore. You can put their mind at ease that they have many options that better match their needs.)
#5. Help them separate their house from their memories of family.
One of the most challenging aspects of helping aging parents downsize is the close link parents have between their house and their memories of raising a family there. Help them see that the memories they have are treasured in their minds no matter where they are, while the house itself is just a structure.
Your parents sacrificed so much so that you could enjoy the life you have. Now you can return the favor of loving care and attention by helping them as they downsize. It won’t necessarily be easy but you can help them to see all the possibilities and opportunities to live a thriving lifestyle in their retirement.
And when it comes time to talk about selling their house, you can educate them on their options again by making them aware of their choice to sell through an agent (which can be costly, especially if there are renovations or clean-up required before the house can be listed) or to sell directly to a house-buying company like us here at Quick Home Offers. We specialize in buying California houses from people who are retiring and downsizing, and who would much rather save money and enjoy their retirement than go through the hassle and expense of selling through an agent. We’ll be happy to talk with you and with your parents and help you understand the process – and of course we’ll do so in a way that is clear, easy-to-understand, and respectful of your parents… without ANY hassles or “hard selling.”