Your last child has left the nest and you are somewhat happy and somewhat sad at that same time. Not having them around to converse, complain and argue with is a two-edge sword. You can’t always live with them, but can’t necessarily live without them.
It’s a perplexing situation to have to deal with, but this is your new phase of life and it can be extremely rewarding as your responsibilities have lessened unless there are still current financial obligations tied in with your children and possibly other issues. As they say, sometimes you’re never really done until you cross over the finish line, if you know what I mean.
At this stage of your life are you aware of the four documents besides your will that you truly need? Have you done any estate planning or updated your last will and testament to make sure it is current? Also, if still married, does your spouse have a will? If not she or her should have one, too. Have you appointed an executor or executrix that needs to be stated in your will? Have you set up a Healthcare Power of Attorney (or Medical or Healthcare Directive) in the event of a terminal illness or you become permanently unconscious?
You should have several people noted in successive order, to make sure someone is there who is authorized to make those decisions for you. Create a Durable Power of Attorney to handle certain types of affairs while you are alive. An administrator will assist you in the event of your not being able to handle daily responsibilities, such as paying bills.
A Revocable or Irrevocable Family Trust would be the fifth necessary document. If you want to avoid going through Probate, which is a costly and lengthy process, this will be necessary to provide total privacy of your assets and other family information. Once you have all those necessary documents procured and in effect, then you will be able to move on to some other important items to consider.
If you are happy where you are living, still enjoying your surroundings and your costs are manageable, then staying put will be your most comfortable solution. However, if you should decide that it is time to downsize to smaller accommodations and at the same time reduce your monthly costs, then pragmatic and logical planning must be put into action.
Give yourself at least three to six months to accomplish this task, knowing where you will relocate and what amenities you might need or want. Will you consider a gated community nearby or out of the area? Will it be a consideration to move closer to your children (unless they are already nearby)? I am fortunate my and my wife’s health has held up — much better than being in an assisted-living environment or worse a nursing home. You will now have time to do whatever tickles your fancy and be free to come and go as you please and enjoy your semi or total retirement.
What should you throw away and what will you take with you? What needs to be repaired in your home, painted, or even upgraded to enhance your most valuable asset? These decisions are crucial to having your home properly prepared when the time approaches to consider putting it up for sale. Downsizing to smaller quarters means you can’t take everything with you. A few may just want the same square footage, but not have to deal with any maintenance, gardeners, roof leaking, plumbing or painting problems. This way they can turn the key and go to work or go out to play and have fewer concerns.
Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. For a free 15-minute consultation, value analysis of your home, or to answer any of your questions or concerns he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email [email protected] or via https://WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com