Episode two focuses on what it takes to downsize from a large, forever home, to something smaller that fits your lifestyle now, and in the future. From budget to vacation home, you will get tips and advice on achieving your downsizing goals. Using the 5m W’s (who, what, where, when, why) and How of Journalism Judy and Dennis will break down a system that you can build a downsizing plan around. And you’ll get a few stories to illustrate their points.
Episode #2 - Making a 5–Year Plan to Downsizing Using the 5 W’s plus the How of Journalism
Dennis Day 00:00
Welcome. This is episode number two of the getting your edge how to right size your home and life Podcast. I'm one of your hosts Dennis day.
Judy Gratton 00:10
I'm Judy Gratton. It's so great to be back. I'm really excited about this new episode.
Dennis Day 00:15
So last episode, we sort of introduced ourselves to our podcast. This week, we're going to dive deep into content. We're going to talk about one of the aspects of right sizing w, w, w, w, w and how of making a plan for downsizing. Let's explain what downsizing means?
Judy Gratton 00:33
For our purposes, downsizing is looking at people who live in a large home and are considering downsizing into a smaller home and eliminating some of the stuff that they've collected over the years.
Dennis Day 00:48
This could be a vacation location, moving closer to family, moving to a plan community, moving to a mobile home area, it's a wide open.
Judy Gratton 00:59
Absolutely. Maybe we should give some examples.
Dennis Day 01:03
Yeah, I think that's a good idea. Maybe we talk about the classic downsides, from living in that forever home, empty nesters, with lots and lots of rooms full of stuff.
Judy Gratton 01:18
I hate to say it, but that's probably me. Anyway, I'll give you a couple of different examples. We had one woman and her home, she had raised her three children in that home, she and her husband bought the home together, but they raised their children in that home. He had passed away she continued to live there for quite some time, but it said on half an acre. Eventually she was tired of taking care of everything. She decided to move into a manufactured home in a senior community. So, we helped her to downsize her home to help her go through her items and decide what she needed and didn't need and then found her that perfect home in a park. So, that was one example of downsizing. She didn't go very far. It was the move that she chose to make. Now a different example is we had a client who had a home in Edmonds, and this gentleman did woodworking and he had a garage was his shop and it was full of tools and he and his wife had decided to move to Tucson, and they had taken about a year to make a decision exactly where they wanted to go. Again, this was manufactured home in a senior park. However, the home was brand new, so it had to be completed and moved into the park and they were able to go down to Tucson, visit several parks find the one they really liked, and then choose the lot that worked best for them. When it came to what we had to do here. We had a state sale people come in, they helped to get rid of the tools because he was not going to be using them anymore and we just helped to make that move much smoother for him. So, that's a couple of ideas on downsizing.
Dennis Day 03:14
I hear about that scenario all the time around here. We live in the Puget Sound Seattle area, it rains a lot. It's gloomy and dark in the winter and people they moved to Arizona and because of the weather and the lifestyle, it's pretty common. Do you have an example of someone you know who has sold their home here and then move to a vacation destination?
Judy Gratton 03:39
I sure do. Actually, last winter, I had a couple come to me they had already sold their home in Longview and they had spent a lot of their free time coming down to Long Beach which is not that far away, but they really loved Long Beach, Washington and we found them a condo down there. The situation with this condo is that it was more of a vacation, not a timeshare but very similar to a timeshare. So, they're allowed to stay in their condo, 21 days out of the month, and then nine days out of the month. It is used in a rental pool. This did not bother them at all. They bought that condo with an ocean view. They can walk directly through the dunes down to the beach, and then they also bought the most incredible camper. It's got solar panels on top of it, you name it, it's got it, and they spend their 21 days there and then the rest of the month, they're in their camper, they love to hunt, they love to fish, they love to go camping, and so every single month, they give themselves a little out in their camper, they're thrilled and that's a real good example of someone who's moved to a vacation location.
Dennis Day 04:49
Yeah, I really liked that type of scenario, but as we said before, right sizing and downsizing isn't a one size fits all proposition really depends on each person's unique situation. It's about transitioning and that's what we're going to help you with today. Why don't we get down to business here and share how people can plan this huge life changing transition, what's the plan?
Judy Gratton 05:14
We're going to approach this plan, we're going to use the five W's of journalism. Who, What, When Where and Why and we're going to add a How to our planning guide right now. Let's begin with the Who.
Dennis Day 05:27
The Who, yeah, I saw him twice in the Coliseum in Seattle. It was Roger Daltrey swinging the microphone. Totally awesome.
Judy Gratton 05:36
No, Dennis, not that Who?
Dennis Day 05:39
Yeah, I know. I just like to reminisce it does age me. Okay, the who is about, who is involved in making these big decisions, this transition? Do you have a spouse or significant other, children, grandchildren, financial planners, doctors, lawyers, maybe? Do your goals match up? If not, are you able to compromise? Okay, let's be serious. Judy, do you have people who you really love and care about? Listeners, do you have someone or a group of people who really care about you, and what the best for you. If you do, you will make a plan. I've had to downsize my parents numerous times, it is tough. My parents were really good about making certain things, planning for certain things they had and the will, they had their finances in order, but they really didn't include me and my siblings into planning for the next move, or what their plan was for the future. They had ideas and they were exploring, but they didn't share it with us. We weren't prepared, it really made a difference. Sometimes we had to make decisions on the fly to help them out. Sometimes those decisions didn't really work out, well make a plan.
Judy Gratton 06:58
Dennis, I can totally understand how you feel on that. I have seen this over and over again, where people neglected planning and their fate was left to somebody else's decision and they weren't necessarily happy about it. Let's get going on making a plan. Let's explore the What, what is it you want to do? What will your life look like after this transition? The biggest part of the what is your budget? How much, is it gonna cost to do the things you want to do? How long will it take you to accomplish the goal of getting that kind of money? Do these whats match up with the reality of your budget?
Dennis Day 07:34
We're not saying this is a five-minute task. It's a big job, and you should be including those you love in the plan. Let's go to the When.
Judy Gratton 07:43
The when is going to be based on all the other W's when you make the decision to downsize is really contingent on all the factors you need to line up who's involved, where you want to go or not go, what it's going to look like financially?
Dennis Day 07:58
So, we looked at the who, the what and the when. Now let's look at the Where.
Judy Gratton 08:05
This is one of my favorite parts. Where do you want to go? Do you dream about traveling and just having a place to land, or do you dream about one specific place like the beach or the desert? If you go anywhere, where would you go? Maybe you would stay exactly where you are, what would that look like? We will discuss the idea of aging in place staying in your current home in a later episode, but what you need to decide on is what kind of lifestyle do you want to have.
Dennis Day 08:34
That decision about what lifestyle you want is really going to impact where you plan to go. Now the why it's time to think about why you are thinking about this move is it because you've got a big house filled with stuff and it's driving you crazy is it you need better weather is that you need to be close to family or you just want a place that doesn't require so much maintenance. So, time to get a journal start taking notes. When ideas come to you, dream about where you would like to be, ask yourself questions. What if I was living in the desert community? What if I was living close to my children clip articles and newspapers from types of places where you have lived write it down, talk to your spouse, your significant others talk to your loved ones visit places that you plan to go look at their home values, practice living there, go there, stay in a b&b and see what it's really like to live there why you were thinking about this change.
Judy Gratton 09:36
Then we have the How. How can you accomplish what you thought about above? Who will be involved in the planning start letting go of items you no longer need. I know they have sentimental value, but take a picture put it on a card or a digital file explaining the story behind the item that will mean so much more to the people that you want to share it with. Unfortunately, nobody wants China. Gen Z, Gen alpha and millennials are mostly minimalists, they do not want grandma's China and it isn't worth what you think it's worth. I have my great aunt China from occupied Japan just after World War 2 and I thought it was probably worth a lot of money because of all of that and I found it in a thrift store the exact same pattern and occupied Japan, for $200, for a set of 12, I have a set of eight, believe me, it's really not worth what you think it is. Go on eBay or offer up and see what people really are willing to pay for antiques in China. Again, take that picture, let it go to someone who really wants it thing that I collected was my mother's dresses from the 1960s. I just loved those. I kept them for years, even though I never wore them honestly probably couldn't have fit into them and so then I decided to donate them to my nieces, because they were more that size. They were very grateful, sort of kind of and donated them to the theater group that one of them belonged to. That was wonderful because they loved them and they use them all the time, find a place a home for your items that where people will really enjoy them if you can, if not, you know, you may have to just let go of them another way, but we will have an entire episode on letting go of things.
Dennis Day 11:32
Okay, I've got my own story on that one. When my grandmother passed on, we had to give away our stuff. Well, I ended up with a picture of her cat. I never saw the cat, I never met the cat. I don't have a cat. If you're downsizing your parents, your grandparents, you have to be respectful of this process. It's hard for people, these are not just things. These are important memories.
Judy Gratton 11:57
Again, do your homework now answer all these questions, and then check those answers again and again, to see if they change. Remember right now you're only planning you're not doing so the plan can change. You can be flexible, but the more time you have to plan, the better off you are.
Dennis Day 12:15
So, kind of review this, we've given you a lot of information. So, the Who is the people you love and the people who love you get them involved, get your financial planner involved, so that you know if you can't afford what you are thinking about doing.
Judy Gratton 12:29
The What is, what do you want to do you have to make that decision and that encompasses everything else? Also, what is your budget? So, you've got to figure out that plan and see if the two match up.
Dennis Day 12:42
The When is dependent on all the other factors. When can you afford it? When does it make sense with your timeline and your loved ones timeline? Ideally, the when is when you want to, not when you have to.
Judy Gratton 12:58
The Where, where do you want to go? And maybe you don't want to go? These are things that you need to decide.
Dennis Day 13:05
Why you want to make this change, this transition? It's a big, long process. What's the purpose? What do you want to accomplish with this very important to all the decisions you make?
Judy Gratton 13:17
Finally, the How again and that's how are you going to do this, your budget, your timeline? How are you going to dispose of items you no longer really need but find a lot of sentimental value in. That's the who, what, when where and how. Oops, forgot the Why of making a plan.
Dennis Day 13:35
The how, could also mean selling your home and that's where the edge routine can really help you. We are experts at this process and we're here to help you, all our consultations are free and no costs. So, give us a buzz. I remember we promised that every episode would have a freebie and we have one this episode is called the Five W's and H, five your plan. Describe step by step what you should be doing for the next five years to get ready for this giant transition. It'll also have questions about who, what when, where, why and how that you can fill in as a tool to help you make these decisions discussing this with those significant others. Please follow us, subscribe, share to people who you think might be interested in this send us some comments. We are the Edge Group Real Estate Team, and we'd love to hear from you. So, how do you get those freebies you go to our edgegrouprealestateservices.com, website and you will see a button that says freebies and we'll have the freebie for this episode and episode one there. You can download them, print them whatever you like, visit our website we have all kinds of information on lots of different tasks and that's edgegrouprealestateservices.com. Our website you'll will see a link to our podcast. We'll have the downloads and the episodes. What are we thinking about next episode, Judy?
Judy Gratton 15:00
Our next episode is going to be on what lifestyle do you want? So that's going to kind of take what? And break it down a little bit further. Before we sign off. I just like to take a moment this recording is taking place on the Monday before Thanksgiving, and we wanted to wish you very happy Thanksgiving. Dennis, what are you doing on Thanksgiving?
Dennis Day 15:22
My Thanksgiving, somebody pretty quiet. I'll barbecue a turkey as I do every year and both my son and daughter will be here. My daughter's coming up from San Francisco. It's going to be pretty cool. How about you, Judy?
Judy Gratton 15:35
I'm going to the beach. I have one of those condos down there at the beach. So, I'll be spending it with my husband and my son and again, it'll be pretty quiet, but I'll have an ocean view.
Dennis Day 15:48
Thanksgiving and an ocean view, sounds wonderful. If you're interested in learning more about the Edge Group Real Estate Team, please give us a look at edgegrouprealestateservices.com or there's a link in this podcast. That's it for today. We're going to sign off. Thanks for listening. Happy Thanksgiving. See you next time.
Judy Gratton 16:10
Thanks so much for joining us again. We'll see you next episode. Bye.