Seniors, Are You Passive or Proactive?

If you are a senior, you probably have very specific wants and needs when it comes to housing. Your housing decision differs from that of other buyers because you are in a season of life that is different. A season that requires you to make the best decisions for you. Decisions that will allow you to enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.

Senior buyers and sellers are typically very savvy. When it comes to buying and selling real estate, it’s not your first rodeo. You likely understand the process and you’ve probably made some money when it comes to your real estate investments. You understand the ups and downs of the market and you are well aware of the responsibilities of homeownership. And, you know the joy and sense of pride that comes with owning your own home. You’ve also experienced the headaches and the costs that come with home maintenance and homeownership.

I love working with seniors like you because you have a vast amount of knowledge, but even more importantly, years of living have made you wise. And, in what may be your last real estate purchase or sale, you will need the advantage of that wisdom. Why? Because as we approach our twilight years, we want to make good decisions that will carry us through our last season of life. Decisions that will afford us a secure, healthy, and happy lifestyle.

Decide how you want to live.

Lifestyle is a choice and it has little to do with the size of our home or our wallet. So, decide how you want to live and then do those things that will give you your best life. It might mean that you have to downsize. You may have to give up some things so that you can gain some things. It could mean a move across town or a move across the country. Change is hard at any age, but frankly, it only gets harder as we age. Trust me when I say that I have worked with far too many seniors who weren’t proactive and who ended up having others make decisions for them. It’s sad to witness someone who has worked hard all their life, raised a family, and contributed to society, only to wind up in a position where their own voice isn’t heard.

Don’t let the fear of change keep you from making necessary changes.

Take time now to plan about your tomorrow. The reality is that most of us won’t be able to stay in our homes forever. Even if we can, is that the best course of action? Maybe. I’m not here to tell you what to do. I’m merely trying to encourage you to do something. Decide. Decide if staying or selling makes sense and whether changing your current home for something different — something simpler or simply better — is the right choice.

Do you want to travel? Are you spending too much time taking care of your current house? Does a senior community sound appealing? Maybe you just want a change of scenery or perhaps you need to free up equity to ensure you have enough reserves for your later years. There are many things to ponder and there are decisions to make. Just be sure you get to be the one who makes them. Don’t let someone else decide for you. And, don’t let your own inaction keep you stuck.

Be proactive.

I can share countless stories of seniors who were proactive and stories of seniors who were not. Those who decided upfront and early on how they wanted to spend their time and their money in their later years generally faired better than their counterparts. Seniors who stayed stuck, who were passive, and who remained in denial about their circumstances often ended up making decisions in a crisis moment — a moment that created anxiety and confusion. A moment that often resulted in poor decision-making and the involvement of others. Others, who didn’t always have their best interest at heart.

So, what’s my advice?

Be proactive. Envision your future and make a plan. Now. You likely have many wonderful years ahead of you. Years to enjoy the fruit of your labor, those you love, and your passions. The first step is simply to decide. Decide where you want to be and how you want to live your life. And then, get information. Hire a trusted attorney, speak to your financial planner, or to a good CPA. Talk to your Realtor. Talk to seniors who have made good decisions and who are happy with the outcome of those decisions.

There are tons of resources available for you and you have options regardless of your current situation or how daunting the future may look. There are also people who will help you, starting with me. It’s my passion and my purpose to help seniors, so please reach out to me and I’ll do my best to share my insight with you. You don’t have to stay stuck. You can be proactive and you can plan. With the right perspective, the right help, and the right action steps, you’ll be on your way to a bright new future.

I’d like to leave you with one final thought. Actually, it’s a quote and one that sums things up well:

text reads: growth is painful. change is painful. but nothing as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong

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