5 Helpful Tips when Planning a Retirement Move
From downsizing and decluttering to locations and looking to the future, moving home in retirement can sometimes feel quite overwhelming. As our residents have all been through the process we asked some for their top tips when planning a retirement move.
Embrace your inner Marie Kondo
Decluttering comes up time and time again as a challenge for those downsizing in retirement. This can be particularly taxing if you're moving from a longstanding family home or if you are approaching the process alone. Take your time, get help from others if you can and stick with it - you'll see the benefit when you are settled in your new home.
We had been in our last house 40 years and we had 40 years’ worth of stuff in cupboards, squirrelled away. We made a rule that there had to be less stuff in the house every day. Almost everybody says what a task it was to downsize – we couldn’t throw anything away without looking at it. But we had a big sort-out. Over the course of the year we got our family round and they took what they wanted. Our children were delighted that we’d made the decision, and that we sorted the family house out.
Move sooner rather than later
There's a real temptation to put off moving into retirement accommodation. Maybe we don't consider ourselves old enough or aren't quite ready to say goodbye to the family home. It turns out that there are a number of advantages to moving sooner rather than later.
We think some people don’t come because they have a preconceived idea and don’t feel ‘old enough’ for this type of environment. All you can do to encourage people is to tell them how open and versatile the village is. If you want to do bowling, croquet, snooker or archery, or if you’re interested in music and the arts there is a very wide range of activities that cater for these interests. There is even an equipped workshop for DIY enthusiasts.
Make the decision that you’re coming to live part three of your life. You’ve had your childhood, your middle years and then you’re getting to part three. Embrace it positively and make the most of it.
We had always said that before one of us reached 80 we were going to have downsized. I was an occupational therapist so saw people who had left it too late to move when visiting them in their own homes. We also have had relatives with dementia who we had to move after 75 years in their own home. It was a traumatic process and we didn’t want that for our children. If you’re going to make full use of all the facilities here you have got to be relatively active.
Consider embracing technology
If you're reading this then it's likely that you're already pretty tech-savvy. Of course it's not a requirement but you may find there are some great benefits to getting your grandchildren to sign you up to social media or help organise some online shopping. And it's always good to learning something new, isn't it?
It depends on whether you want to eat in the on-site restaurants. I’ve acquired quite a bit of skill in online shopping. I don’t have to go to a shop for anything - Morrison’s and Amazon! I was trying to make something one weekend and didn’t have any capers. I was too late to go shopping so went on Amazon and it was delivered the next morning. If anyone wants to feed themselves like me, it's helpful to have to some computer skills.
Location, location, location
A common reason for relocating as part of a retirement move is to be closer to family or old friends, though it might be that you want to stay in the area and community you're familiar with so that you can stay plugged into existing social circles. It's important that you weigh up the benefits for you and your situation and ultimately make the decision for yourself going forward.
Our main reason for coming to Sandford Station was that our son lives 15 minutes away and our daughter is just across the bridge in South Wales. We now see our grandchildren more frequently because they can come and visit us here and we attend their concerts and other events at their schools.
Examine the transport facilities, get a doctor’s practice you feel confident with too.
Plan for the future
We don't like to think about it much, but on the off-chance that your or your partner's health situations changes it makes sense to try plan for the future as best you can. Taking time to check that your new home is fully wheelchair accessible, you're able to easily get care and support in the home should you need it and that you have access to a care home close by will save a lot of upheaval at a later date.
We’re assuming that TCQ will meet all of our future needs. You’ve got the independent living for now. For the future, if we should need it, all the apartment is wheelchair accessible. Support within the apartment is available too if needed. We looked at a whole range of options and for a lot of them, if you become less mobile, you would have to move again. Here it’s a one-stop shop.