As published in the Savannah Morning News - August 5, 2012
MOVING MOM AND DAD AND DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START?
Many of us Baby Boomers are living longer and still working, without much hope for retirement anytime soon. The economy has taken its toll, and our plans have shifted. We still have some time to make up our losses, but not so for our parents.
My Mom and Dad are in their 80’s, as well as many of the seniors I work with on a daily basis. Declining home values have affected their life-long financial plans, as the money from the sale of their home was to take care of them in their latter years. For many of today’s seniors, perfect planning went out the window.
Every day I hear my friends and clients talk about their parents, and how they are unable to take care of their homes, yards, and sometimes themselves. It’s a difficult place for us to be, since our parents have always been the ones taking care of us. Now it’s our turn.
Most often, I am communicating with Baby Boomers around the country, who have jobs and family obligations that do not allow them to visit their parents for long periods of time. Sorting through a parent’s home, with many years of collections, is time consuming and daunting. We are working with Depression Era babies, so you know what I’m talkin’ about when I say our parents don’t want to give up anything! They keep used wrapping paper for 50 years…well, you know what I mean.
After spending a weekend sorting through my Mom’s papers, and dragging boxes to the garage, I found them back in the house again. This and selling homes is what I do as a profession, but I think I cried that day. In fact, I’m sure of it! Mom finally left the house and let me do what I had to do: stage her home, put it up for sale, and prepare for her move.
Clearing out the house, closets, attic and garage – it takes a lot of time. Organizing what’s left takes more time. Knowing what to keep, what to dispose of, what to sell, what to donate, listing the house, who to call…lots of decisions have to be made. Many seniors can no longer make the many choices and quick decisions that they used to make, and their adult children sometimes don’t realize their parents have changed…especially those that live afar. So it is up to us, and we either have to step up to the plate and do it ourselves, or provide the professional help to get the job done. Most Baby Boomers don’t have a month to spare.
Never fear, help is near! Senior Move Managers can provide a stress free, seamless move. I belong to an organization where you can find some relief to help your distant loved ones. Contact me or the National Association of Senior Move Managers (www.NASMM.org) to find a move manager to assist you. We are a professional association of national organizations assisting older adults and families with downsizing, relocating, and home modifications. We have a vast network of in-home health care providers, elder attorneys, aging in place contractors, and other services that your parent may need. We are familiar with local retirement communities and can guide you through the process.
So, if you are still reading this article, you are making these decisions for your parents or yourself. My next series of articles will address these issues and options in detail, so stay tuned. We have a lot to talk about!
By Brooke Bass, Associate Broker with Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners and owner of Gracious Moves LLC, a Savannah based Staging and Move Management Company.
A nationally award winning Realtor, Brooke has been successfully selling and staging homes since 1985. For more information, contact Brooke at 912-655-9299 or visit www.GraciousMoves.com.