Seniors: Time Your Move


Special to the Palisades News
(Editors note: This is the fifth in a series of articles in answer to requests for more informational help with “downsizing” issues for seniors. The focus here is on considerations about the timing of a move.)
Previous articles in this series have included the concept of “right-sizing”, thoughts on preparations for an eventual move, and practical suggestions to begin the process. The question of when to plan the move is equally important.

Considering your lifestyle, both now and in the future, is helpful in deciding when to move. If you entertain frequently, you may need more space than if you rarely have people visit.

If you plan to continue working or have some particular hobbies or interests, you may need extra rooms or space. These needs might not easily be met in a smaller residence so you may prefer to postpone a move.

Some people look forward to when they will be able to live in a retirement community, where they can participate in many recreational and various group activities. Others prefer to delay a move to any form of group or community living arrangement until they are simply unable to continue living on their own.

There are other practical issues that may determine the ideal timing of a move. For example, are there any events happening in your near-future that would have a significant impact on your decision? These might include a retirement date, a spouse who is beginning to need special care that a facility might better provide, a grandchild being born and living in another city, etc.

Once the various issues of concern have been explored, it may be possible to set a target date for the move. This will give you a goal to work toward. If you don’t set up a time frame, or at least an approximate target, this may result in indecision and procrastination, and you would not be taking appropriate actions to get the process done in a timely and well-planned manner.

The benefit of the approximate goal date is that you will more likely focus on making progress toward fulfilling that goal a priority. Certainly, things may come up that may lead you to change the date, such as a new job assignment or unexpected news or information about family or friends.

However, having a date will give you a focal point to work toward and with.

Once you have a date in place, you can work backwards to see what actions are required to get to that goal. Having the plan in place and beginning to put the plan into action will lead to a more comfortable and smooth transition.
Michael Edlen has counseled approximately 1,000 seniors for the past 30 years. Call (310) 230-7373 or email<>.

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