Rise of the Senior Move Manager
More people are discovering a relatively new industry that helps retirees downsize.
Moving isn’t exactly fun. Whether you do it yourself or hire movers, it almost always takes more time and work than you bargained for. This comes as no surprise to most adults who have moved on more than one occasion – for a new job, company transfer, or change of scenery. However, downsizing in retirement can be much more involved than moving from Point A to Point B.
A change in your health or circumstances can sometimes make it necessary to downsize considerably after decades in one place. Such a move can mean going from a 2,500-square-foot home with a lifetime of belongings to a 400-square-foot apartment with room only for necessities and the most meaningful items. An extraordinary transition like this can be hard to manage for anyone.
Enter the Senior Move Manager
According to the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM), there are professionals who assist retirees and their families with the emotional and physical aspects of relocation or “aging in place” in order to remain at home as long as possible. While senior move managers come from diverse backgrounds (nursing, healthcare, social work or marketing, to name a few), they share a genuine commitment to older adults, deep compassion and expertise, as well as the desire to perform meaningful work. Depending on your needs, they can assist with a variety of tasks as you make the transition to a new home, including:
- Shipments and storage
- Solutions for improving safety and mobility
- Organizing, sorting and packing
- Related services such as cleaning, waste removal, shopping and senior escort
- Interviewing, scheduling and overseeing movers
- Preparing current home for sale
- Transferring utilities and mailing address
- Unpacking and setting up new home
Selecting a Move Manager
With more than 850 senior move management companies throughout the U.S., Canada and abroad, there’s likely someone close by with the experience, compassion and expertise to help with a senior move. A great place to start is nasmm.org, where you can easily search for accredited providers.
Because of variables like geographic region and services requested, fees can vary substantially. Also, some managers charge hourly, while others charge a flat rate. It's a good idea to ask for a thorough outline and written estimate in advance, and communicate with your financial advisor as you plan for possible expenses and tax deductions.
There's No Place Like a New, Smaller Home
Even the most unexpected and drastic downsize can be made easier and less stressful with someone to answer questions and help with logistics. With the proper plan and a caring professional, having fewer square feet might actually make life simpler and cozier than ever before.
Material derived from an InvestmentNews article in which Frank McAleer, Vice President, Retirement Solutions was a guest columnist.
Sources: nasmm.org; aarp.org; nytimes.com; huffingtonpost.com