Moving is hard. Downsizing is the hardest. One of the reasons downsizing is the hardest is all the emotions and history we attach to our things. And because it is the hardest our natural inclination is to avoid it … to postpone it as long as possible … which ironically just makes it harder. If we wait long enough downsizing will become someone else’s problem. That someone else could be a spouse. It could also be adult children or other loved ones who have downsizing challenges of their own. If part of the inheritance we are leaving others is our failure to downsize I suspect they won’t think of it as much of a gift.
Of course many people do wait — and wait, and wait. Despite the strong inclination to wait the demand for downsizing is strong. It is so strong an industry has emerged to help people downsize and they have their own professional association: The National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM).
According to the NASMM (www.nasmm.org) their members specialize in helping people with the daunting process of downsizing and moving to a new residence. Senior move managers help plan and manage a move of any distance, such as from a longtime home to a communal living situation. They can hire and supervise movers, help sort and pack belongings, and unpack at the new home. The best Move Managers don’t just handle the time-consuming (and often backbreaking) logistics; they have expertise in navigating the tricky emotional terrain that’s involved with someone who has accumulated a lifetime of possessions.
If you think you are ready to downsize and might be interested in having some help let’s talk about it. The best advice I’ve heard on the topic … “don’t wait.”
From the desk of Mike Jette, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC
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