OK so you’ve begun the retirement community research, maybe you’ve even toured some communities — when do you finalize a moving day? When is the right time to make the move?
A recent article by the Wall Street Journal argues the sooner you make the move the better.
When to schedule your moving day?
We are in agreement with the WSJ conclusions and believe downsizing sooner rather than later will be better for us. Our desire is to be established in a CCRC in our late 60s to early 70s rather than our 80s. Why so early when the average CCRC resident age is late 70s to early 80s?
Downsizing can have a big impact on a retiree’s financial plan. Even with a mortgage that has been paid off, housing often accounts for 30% of retirement expenses, says Mr. Sass at Boston College. — By Tom Lauricella (WSJ)
There are several reasons for an earlier downsizing for us. A primary reason is our goal to downsize while we are young enough to enjoy the transitional process rather than dread it or have it taken over by our family. In turn, we are excited about our next move and the selection of our new community. We plan to be active, contributing members helping to shape the personality of our new home and community.
Additionally, we have watched and contrasted individuals who made this downsizing-move reluctantly vs. those who “jumped in” with enthusiasm. Those individuals who “jumped in” were active and happy in their new home from the start. They enriched their communities by their participation and in turn they were enriched. We long for an active, happy, successful aging at our future Retirement Community or CCRC. Like a lot of things, we control our reactions to inevitable change. Might as well seize the day. Schedule your moving day.
The financial benefits may not seem huge at first, but over time they can make a meaningful difference in extending the life of a nest egg. As retirees age, there are lifestyle issues to consider, such as being in a community with other older adults. And finally, making a move before one spouse dies can help ensure that the surviving spouse, or the couple’s adult children, won’t have to contend with emptying and selling a big house. –By Tom Lauricella (WSJ)
The last point here is important in our own experience with parents on both sides of the family. One key reason to choose a retirement community or CCRC is the social support of a community setting. Almost always one spouse out lives the other. Far better that the survivor has a pre-established, close and active social network.
When is the right time to downsize? As soon as you have made the decision — Jump In!