4 big reasons seniors should go smaller

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October 4, 2017
For seniors, the idea of downsizing can be intimidating, but there are several reasons smaller can mean better.

For many, the American Dream is all about owning your own home. But when kids leave the nest and retirement looms, that sprawling home can start to feel more like a burden than a dream. There are gutters to clean, lawns to be mowed, garages to organize – not to mention the daily household duties of cooking, cleaning and endless laundry.

Eventually, the idea of downsizing can be a welcome relief — one that more and more seniors are starting to explore. If you haven't yet thought about your next move, there are a few reasons you should probably start.

It's not exactly downsizing

“I like to think of it as supersizing rather than downsizing,” said Marilyn Walsh, ‎director of marketing and public relations at Baptist Homes Society, that sponsors Providence Point, a state-of-the-art senior living community in Pittsburgh. “Our residents have so much less to deal with, from cleaning to cooking. All of those things go away, but in the meantime, they gain 55,000 square feet of access to a fitness center, four dining venues, pool, a big courtyard with walking paths, a bocce court, a bank on-site and more. So the personal space might decrease, but in the meantime, they have many more activities and amenities available to them.”

When you think of your golden years, chances are they don't include the daily grind and upkeep of maintaining a home and household. When you downsize to a senior living community, you can focus on making your retirement an enriching and rewarding time. Swim laps in an indoor pool, try your hand at oil painting and make new, like-minded friends — all in the comfort of your own comfortable, private apartment.

Moving is the scariest part

For many, giving up “home” is a big decision – one that can seem intimidating, but according to Walsh, most of the residents she knows have just one regret — that they didn't move sooner.

“Moving of any sort at any age is frightening,” she said. "But we have on-staff counselors who have helped hundreds of people through this, and we provide access to people who can help with all aspects of your move. Most people say, I should have done this five years earlier.”

You're investing in your future

For many seniors, downsizing to a senior living community isn't just about convenience, though it certainly provides that. If you decide to move to a Continuing Care Retirement Community, this can be a wise move for your financial future. According to Kiplinger, a CCRC can be a wise investment for those who meet age restrictions, as they allow seniors to age in place, with skilled nursing and long-term medical care available on-site. And with several financial plans from which to choose, you can select the program that works with your health, your budget and your needs.

It's peace of mind

Even if you're not yet ready to downsize, it's important to understand your options, according to Walsh.

“We have people who talk to us before turning 62 and the minute they turned 62 they move in,” she said. “And we have people moving in at 85. It's never too late, and talking to someone about it doesn't mean you have to make the decision now. But, it's better to plan earlier so you know what your options are.”

For more information on Providence Point, visit providencepoint.org.

This article is sponsored by Providence Point.

A journalism graduate from Brigham Young University, Kristen Price has experience writing in a variety of fields, including art and culture, health and fitness and financial and real estate services. Kristen has written for USA Today, SFGate and the Knot.

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