The kids are finally on their own and you're thinking of making a change. You no longer want to manage a large family home or pay the taxes that come with it, yet your home is where your memories are (never mind the hassle of moving). So is downsizing right for you? Making a move should be about making your life better in some way. This is a very emotional decision and should be checked with logic.
Knowing when or if you should move can be stressful. Start the thought process with these 5 questions:
1. Do I feel safe in my neighborhood? Neighborhoods change over time, some for the better and some for the worse. Evaluate how safe you feel in your neighborhood and the direction of it's change.
2. Am I able to maintain my home in good condition? Can I afford to continue to do so? It's time to take a hard look at the financial demands of your home and decide if you can keep up in the years ahead.
3. Is my home aging friendly? If not, can I afford to make age friendly modifications? If only we could run up the stairs forever, be we know we won't. Take a look and see what changes you're home might need in order for you stay comfortably and decide if you can afford those changes.
4. Can my family support me with transportation, medical care and home maintenance if necessary? In other words, do you have a support network nearby by to assist you should you need them.
5. Have I reviewed my finances with a qualified professional? You'll want to be sure your money lasts as long as you do.
If the answer is 'no' to any these questions now is the time to consider your options and make provisions. There is something to be said for moving when you can rather than waiting until you are forced to. Such decisions are best made when you are in control of the timing and location.