With a little help from some pros, it’s easier to transition to a smaller, more efficient living situation
Going smaller may not take a village, but when there is no family nearby, a few skilled experts certainly smooth the transition:
Senior Real Estate Specialists
This group, an official designation from the National Association of Realtors, specialize in the needs of older Americans buying, selling, renting, or relocating. Armand Christopher, a Realtor with Senior Living Realty in Dallas who holds an SRES designation, says he helps clients from beginning to end. “I just don’t list a house, sell it and say, ‘See you later,’” he says. “I may help find a move manager, the next home or do a floor plan so they can better decide what to take and leave.” To find a SRES, go to www.sres.org.
Financial planners can help decide how much homeowners should downsize to cut expenses, and help improve estate planning. Depending on their personalized needs, a homeowner may require only hourly-paid advice, says Derrick Kinney, an Ameriprise financial adviser based in Arlington, Texas. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors provides names within a ZIP code for fee-based compensation Visit www.napfa.org.
Organizational experts help with de-cluttering and setting up a new smaller space to maximize efficiency. Greg Gunderson, president and owner of Gentle Transitions in Manhattan Beach, Calif., helps with everything from sorting through belongings to working on new floor plans to helping plan an estate sale.
For sources, check the National Association of Professional Organizers’ site, www.napo.net. Other experts can be found through the National Association of Senior Move Managers www.nasmm.org.