The Downside of Downsizing


All of the prior posts in the series “Retire – Downsize – …” have been about the positive lifestyle one can anticipate in retirement. Activities covered so far include golf, reflect/solitude, teach, learn, volunteer, play music, work, paint/draw, go South, read and travel. Although most downsizing projects are very busy and intense, they come off smoothly with a few bumps along the way. However, the downsizing process can also be risky. Here’s why.

Occasionally a move situation arises with increased health risks. It is the combination of certain circumstances that is responsible for this.

A combination of a number of the following seven circumstances increases health risks when downsizing:

  • a tight schedule
  • a large volume of stuff
  • a much smaller destination living space
  • limited financial resources
  • limited help
  • an inactive lifestyle
  • increased age

Of the three generations involved in downsizing a family, the age group that appears to be most at health-risk are the “retiring boomers” or Junior Seniors. This is because Senior Seniors will tend to have someone else do the physical work. Boomers tend to do more of the “do it yourself” work such as packing, lifting and even some of the moving. Whereas the younger (sandwich) generation is usually in better health.

Based on the above list of circumstances, moving projects that are very intense may even expose a family member to increased risk of a heart attack. The following video is from one of my favourite* sources of health information: Bob & Brad of Physical Therapy Video. In this episode, they list the symptoms of an imminent heart attack. (These 4 Things Happen Right Before You Have A Heart Attack!)

This video provides useful information and even a cautionary question about hesitating to call for an ambulance – “Would you rather feel foolish or be dead?”

10:24 minutes

What has your experience been?

This post is part of an on-going series on this blog on the topic of Retire – Downsize – …., covering a variety of possible activities to pursue after retiring and downsizing.

* You may notice some Canadian spelling in these posts. The words may look odd but that’s how we spell them. We’re used to it.

Do you have a blog or podcast related to downsizing?  Where can we find it?

Find out how to keep in touch with Downsizing Help by clicking on Subscription Choices in the top menu bar. A new post is released every Sunday afternoon.

Quill pen

Unless otherwise credited, all posts are happily authored with a quill pen …
Paul Ferri, Broker, ASA (Accredited Senior Agent)
RE/MAX Unique Inc. Brokerage*, Toronto, Canada
*Each office independently owned and operated.

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