If you haven’t already downsized, or aren’t thinking about it soon, eventually you will, because every baby boomer is approaching the age when easier living has great appeal. From his home in Olathe, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, that’s what retired boomer Pat O’Donnell writes about for BoomerCafé.
Last week our house went on the market. Within two days we had three competing offers. It sold over the asking price.
Our home had been “staged,” we held an open house, and now we move on to closing. It has been about 18 months since my wife and I first started thinking about selling and moving to a retirement community. Now, we are just a couple of months away from moving to our new home.
During our time of discernment, we attended seminars, toured facilities, spent hours of online research, talked to our children, and together determined it was time to make ‘the’ move. We have accepted that we are getting older, and this is an opportunity to manage our independent living situation ourselves.
We realize that being in our mid-70s, we are at a stage in life when the body thinks differently from the wishful image that we are still 40-ish.
Retirement has been great, we rarely annoy each other, but we need a social life. We need new options to stay actively engaged. Our neighborhood is perfect if you are a young family with kids.
But that’s not us any more. We don’t need our four-bedroom, three-bath house with a finished basement and all the required upkeep.
We have moved many times in our 40+ years of marriage, but hopefully, this is the last move. We focused on independent living communities, which will allow us to enjoy our independence until one or both of us needs additional support. At that point, assisted living and or skilled care is available should we need it.
So now, we wait. Our new home is in the final stage of construction, and we have accepted an offer for the old one that allows us a simple move from one place to the other. We are eager to see our new home in person. The floor plan looks excellent, but an in-person visit will make it real.
We will have access to a pool, a fitness center, several dining options, on-site medical staff, and a wide variety of activities. Most of all though, we look forward to making new friends. We already have seen a few of our new neighbors on a couple of Zoom calls.
A big eye-opener was realizing that we are what we once saw as those “old folks.” We are aware that we are fortunate to move to our new upscale community when many like us are alone in less than ideal circumstances.
Part of the process to get there, of course, is downsizing. The “stuff” we have accumulated over the years is shocking. Getting rid of it is hard work. Our kids don’t want it, but thanks to several social media sites, we could sell quite a bit. A two-day garage sale helped, and what was left, we donated to a local nonprofit and the Salvation Army store.
Perhaps other baby boomers have been through this process, but for those who haven’t, take your time. Study the options. Visit the properties that interest you and ask a lot of questions. Check with state and medicare reports on their site inspections.
As George Carlin said, “So far, this is the oldest I’ve been.” Truer now than ever.