SENIORS: WHEN SHOULD WE SELL OUT?

Mar 16th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

How Do We decide?

When does one know that it is time to consider selling home and personal property? Is it something that is best done early on in retirement, or should it be delayed until such time when physical limitations begin to whisper the need?   How does one evaluate eliminating the overhead and the demands of a home, sometimes lived in for years?  What consideration should be given to the family and their needs and expectations?  Will they be in a position to take on the myriad costs and responsibilities?  Can you also provide for that?

How do you come to the moment when you say:  “It is time”? Admittedly no easy conclusion, but it looms out there somewhere and eventually nudges, perhaps pushes for, its consideration. When is waiting no longer the best option?  What are the considerations to be taken into account?  How do you rid yourself of collections and keepsakes that are more of a challenge than an enjoyment?

Typically, intentionality serves us better than procrastination.  However, procrastination is usually a very strong contributor to our behavior.   Because of the limitations that render us incapable of forecasting the future, we are frequently immobilized in sorting out the pros and cons of making up our minds.

Start With Scaling Down

Seniors vary in their feelings and approaches to selling a lifetime of possessions and ‘home’.  Some anticipate it with a sense of relief and a lightening of the load of ‘stuff’.  Looking forward to the freedom from possession-bondage is a happy thought for some.  For others, it is difficult to ‘let go’ of stuff, and an emotional issue that may be difficult to resolve.

Looking at the dilemma in stages may be a more appropriate way to deal with the magnitude and implications of taking such a stepScaling down is definitely a part of the process. How does one choose what goes and what stays? How does one deal with the logistics and implications of eliminating “stuff?”  Sure, someone wants that magnificent piece that weighs just short of a ton and has been in the family for generations!  Who bears the cost of moving it?  Practicality is a front of the line issue in these matters.

Having a new home in mind, or available will, of course, be important.  Such a decision will assist in determining how much of your belongings you will want or be able to keep.

Health and mobility considerations will also be important in determining when to sell your home and possessions, and move on.  Moving from a 3000 s/f home to one half that size will require both physical and emotional deliberations.

If no one in the family will assume your current domicile, then it will be important that having decided to market your home is something you are prepared to do and accept. Leaving this to a ‘later on’ issue to deal with won’t work.  After belongings and other elimination issues are off the table, it is time to recognize that there is no turning back.  Leaving such large matters for your partner to deal with after your death is neither fair nor wise.  Collective choices need to drive the determination in making your choice to sell.

“Selling out”  is an extremely emotional  decision for some.  For those seniors in that situation, it is not to be taken lightly, but allowed the most thorough of deliberations. It will change your life and likely your lifestyle; some will enjoy and appreciate the change, others will be challenged to deal with what they will experience as a loss. Going about the process will be a test of your own abilities to be rational. You are grown now and such experiences are yours to make and to do so with prudence and care.



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