About six years ago I was asked to do a presentation on “Downsizing” for an international group of estate managers in Los Angles. I titled the presentation “The Downsizing of America.” Many attendees had never considered who would be affected by this downsizing phenomenon. Since then many more people have asked “Who is downsizing?” That answer is below!
- Retiring baby boomers
This represents more than 77 million Americans. Once someone retires, they begin thinking about how they want to spend the next stage of their life. Once this family puts their home up for sale, their downsize will begin.
- Families with health issues
As Americans age and their health declines, the ability to keep up with the “big” house becomes more of a hardship. In addition to all of the maintenance and up-keep, now these families’ time and attention is focused on taking care of a family member whose health is on the decline.
- Empty nesters
Many families who had upsized over the years, now have an empty large home and the “empty nest syndrome” compels them to downsize. When our daughter went off to college, it was only a matter of several months before my wife and I decided it was just too “empty”, without a bunch of people around all the time. Not that the absence of one person made a difference but it was all the activities, friends and connections that made the bigger home seem important.
When a spouse passes away, all of the memories and nostalgia of the bigger house is often overwhelming. Many widowers opt to sell the big house and downsize within a year of the passing of a spouse. This is usually good for the surviving widow and allows them to move on with their new life. However, it generally is best to wait a few months to start dealing with the downsizing, in order to allow enough time for mourning and reflection.
Whatever the reason for downsizing it is important that the homeowner chooses a downsizing professional who knows how to work with all of the needs associated with the downsize. Downsizing professionals are usually a moving and storage company with multiple years of experience and has seasoned and tenured staff who have worked with downsizing families. William C Huff Companies has had 31 years’ experience in not just up-sizing thousands of families but, over the past several years, downsizing thousands of families as well. Often these families have done both upsizing and downsizing with the same, long term staff at William C Huff Companies.