Carol Ronnebaum: Conversations now can reduce stress of late-in-life moves

Think about options of downsizing, selling home
Carol Ronnebaum, a senior's real estate specialist who works at Coldwell Banker Griffith & Blair, offers advice how to prepare for late-in-life moves.

Preparing for a late-in-life move can be easier than you think, even though it may appear overwhelming and daunting at the onset.


Because many families put off this difficult conversation until there is a medical crisis, an urgency for a move is created, where quick decisions need to be made and time is of the essence. This can cause undue stress for everyone and loss of much-needed money.

Times have changed and so have senior communities, which are quickly becoming a rite of passage for older adults who look forward to joining fun activities with others of their age and sharing meals and conversations with like-minded people. Senior communities are places where you can enjoy life without the responsibilities of home maintenance, feeling alone or being concerned about a lack of assistance during medical emergencies.

Simplify this process by putting together a plan of action. Downsize, move and sell your home.

RELATED: Read more retirement stories in our special section here.

Start by sharing family treasures with loved ones. You might begin by asking your loved ones if there are items they want or simply by giving special keepsakes to family members or friends. Also, be sure to share the history of the item with the recipient. Family history often is forgotten if the story hasn’t been told for many years. This is your legacy; you need to share it. Holidays, birthdays and special visits are good times to begin passing your treasures on to others to enjoy.

Related: See the digital copy of the 2016 Retirement Special Section here.

Will your memories stay behind with your home? No, they will move with you. When moving, you may take currently owned furniture and treasures, or many times seniors start fresh with new furnishings. It’s up to you; it’s your new home.

It may be time for a new family to love your home. Painting, new flooring, a new roof and other things may need to be attended to in your home. There are options in selling a home today. Whether you make repairs and updates or sell the home in its as-is condition, the most important thing to remember is to price your home according to its condition and location. Your home will sell much faster if priced correctly for the current local market value.

Surround yourself with experts. A professional senior’s real estate specialist can offer resources to help navigate the issues seniors and their families often deal with when considering a late-in-life move. Many times, children aren’t able to help with this move because of time, their age and distance.

A team of specialized, senior-friendly experts can help with such concerns as downsizing liquidators, packing and unpacking, moving, selling your home, organizing your new home, contractors, elder law, financial needs and more.


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Prime Time, a special section in Sunday, Oct. 10, 2016's issue of The Topeka Capital-Journal, explores the issues facing individuals as they approach retirement age, including downsizing and housing options, financial planning, questions to ask when transitioning into an independent living or assisted living facility and caregiving considerations.

The special section also features a directory of amenities at independent living and assisted living facilities in northeast Kansas, as well as a list of community resources that senior citizens and their families may find helpful. Additional stories and photos can be viewed at