Leave a comment

Your Pre-retirement Checklist. Have you covered all the bases?

Checklist For Retirement
Does it seem like your finances keep getting more and more complicated

Does it seem like your finances keep getting more and more complicated? It seems that way because it’s true. And that means that you need to keep things organized. Not only for yourself, but ultimately for your children.

It’s not that difficult. In just a few pages, we’ll walk you through the steps that you need to take. Sure, it’ll take a little bit of time. But if you don’t do it, there will come a day when your children will spend many, many hours trying to figure out where all the accounts are and how to access them and they’ll hope that they don’t miss anything that should be left to them.

Your Lifestyle – things that you want to take time to consider and discuss with your spouse (if appropriate) and possibly even your children.

  • Should you consider downsizing? Will you continue to live in the family home? Or is it time to consider something smaller and easier to maintain?
  • Will you do more traveling? How much will you budget for travel each year?
  • Will you take up or expand a current hobby? Will that require additional space or equipment? Could it provide some side income?

Income & Expenses – Will you have enough money to retire on? Will you outlive your money?

  • Now is the time to understand your financial position. Make a list of all of your post-retirement income sources and how much income they’ll provide.
  • Find out how much income you’ll receive from Social Security and decide when you’ll begin to collect SS.
  • Is there income available from investment accounts?
  • How about income available from property or business interests?
  • Estimate your post-retirement expenses.

Assets & Liabilities

  • List of all bank accounts – including branch location, title of the account and account
  • number
  • List of all brokerage accounts – including title of account, phone number for broker and
  • account number
  • List of all mutual fund accounts – including title of account, phone number and account
  • number
  • List of all life insurance policies – including title of account, carrier, phone number and
  • policy number
  • List of any annuities – including title of account, carrier, phone number and policy
  • number
  • List location of any safety deposit box and location of keys – including bank branch and
  • name on the box
  • Location of any storage units (include passwords & location of keys)
  • Location of any hidden storage spots in your house/garage
  • List of any collections or items of value (jewelry, artwork, collectibles, antiques, etc.)
  • Location of any deeds or titles (home, auto, etc.)
  • List of all credit card accounts – including contact numbers for each
  • List of any auto loans – including holder of loan and their contact information
  • List of any mortgages or home equity loans – including holder of loan and their
  • contact information
  • List of any open student loans – including holder of loan and their contact information

Important Legal and Financial Documents

  • Have a proper will. Make sure it’s legal and up to date
  • Check the beneficiaries on any life insurance policies.
  • Check the beneficiaries on any retirement plans (pensions, IRAs, 401Ks, etc.).
  • Make sure you have any necessary medical directives.
  • Have a power of attorney in case you’re incapacitated.

Contact Information

  • Notify your executor (or whoever will handle your affairs when you die) where they can find important documents.
  • List of all your online passwords (including phones, tablets, etc.)
  • List of all automatic payments on your credit cards and from your bank
  • List of people to notify on your passing
  • Names and contact information for your legal and financial advisors
  • Names and contact information for doctors
  • Names and contact information for any pastors or spiritual advisors
  • Contact information for home, auto, and medical insurances

End of Life Arrangements

  • Selection of a funeral home (and information about prepayment)
  • Instructions for the funeral service
  • Selection of a cemetery (and information about prepayment)
  • Information for obituary (if desired)

The Dollar Stretcher has been providing frugal living information since 1996. To keep up with your finances subscribe to “After 50 Finances” and visit their boomer section today.

Leave a comment

You Can’t Make Him.

Senior retirement community OttawaI have been working with a family for about a year. They are very concerned about a parent who has had several strokes. They strongly feel he should move to a retirement home right NOW. Dad has had his driver’s license suspended and is very dependent on others for drives to appointments and transportation to get groceries. He isn’t eating properly and at times forgets to take his medications.

Family members checked out several retirement residences and found one that would meet dad’s needs then they took him to have a look at it. He flatly refused to consider even moving in for respite care for a month.

In desperation they called me to talk with him. I have known him for 25 years and we do have a good relationship. I mentioned that his family loved him and were concerned about him having another stroke and being alone on the floor for several hours.

He then stated, “I am going to die. They are going to put me in a hole in the ground. I do not want to die in that ‘home.’ I want to die right here in my home.”

In our experience with over 3,000 seniors we do see this scenario. Sometimes a parent will move to give peace of mind to their children and sometimes they won’t. Sometimes they will move to get the care they need and sometimes they won’t. One client actually put furniture up against her door so no one could get in and move her.  Sometimes something happens and a parent ends up in a hospital and the doctor won’t let them go home and they reluctantly move.

In this case dad put his foot down and refused to move. He made the decision and the kids have respected his decision. Whatever happens…he made the choice.


Leave a comment

Isn’t It About Time?

Help for Seniors To Downsize OttawaI am thrilled! We have been in business 20 years and helped over 3000 people and I always like to tour the new residences in the area. We have moved people that pay $3000, $6000 and over $10,000 a month to live in a retirement residence.

Many people I know and talk with say, “What can I do?”  “I can’t afford that.”

This week I toured a brand new facility that advertises AFFORDABLE RETIREMENT LIVING. I was expecting a drab, mediocre facility. Can you imagine my utter surprise and delight to walk into a bright, open, friendly building? I looked at the sitting areas throughout the building, the dining room, the movie and exercise rooms, the laundry area and underground parking garage.

I was then given a tour of several suites and was pleased with the choice of flooring, the walk in showers, the grab bars that really are functionable, the blinds that have been installed on each window, the call buttons and pendants which work throughout the building. Coffee and snacks are available 24 hours a day.

I then asked by guide how they could provide so much so reasonably. She told me there are some services they do not provide. They do not have a secure floor or an activity bus.

When I met my husband I said, “you know what? I could live in one room in that building.” They do have suites available too.

Contact Janet at info@seniormoves to find out where it is.

Leave a comment

Decisions Can be Exhausting

Choosing the right retirement community ottawaWhen people are considering a move there is a roller coaster of emotions.    Should I move?  Should I stay?…. Is it a good decision or possibly a bad one?….Am I Making a mistake?

What if….I don’t fit in?… People don’t like me?…I arrange for a new place and don’t sell my home?…I run out of money?…I loose my driver’s license?…

We often remind people why they have decided to move. Each person has a reason for relocating. Frequently seniors who are older or have problems with their health move to make life easier for their children. We often hear them say, “When I ended up in the hospital my child had to put their job on hold and fly here to be with me. I am not going to put them in that situation again. I will move closer to them.”

Some seniors move so they will have less maintenance,…so they can lock the door and go away in the winter,…to watch their grandchildren grow up,…to downsize financially,…because their neighborhood has changed,.. they can’t find help with chores,….they’re tired of winter or tired of cooking….

After the house is sold WE FREQUENTLY HEAR, “I MADE A MISTAKE… I shouldn’t have sold my house” This is when we remind them of the reason for their move and reinforce their decision to move. They are agitated, not eating, not sleeping and filled with concerns. They need someone to reaffirm the choice they have made and the reasons for the choice.

If they need to downsize for the move, the decision making processes are often overwhelming.

We usually ask them how they want to live in their new residence. This really can enable them to see some of the things they would like to bring.

Ask a lot of questions. An example for someone moving to a residence with one bedroom is….”How do you want to use your bedroom?” If they just want to use it for sleeping then a BIG bed is an option. If they want a comfortable chair, a t.v., a computer desk, a book case…then a smaller bed works better.

With twenty years of experience as Senior Move Managers we find if we can ask questions and narrow down the choices it usually helps ease some of the stress and the exhaustion.

Leave a comment

Five Steps to an Easier Senior Move

Help For Seniors Downsizing Ottawa


1. Within reason, bring what is important to them. If they want to bring something instead of saying “NO” ask them why they want to bring it.

One man wanted to bring his sofa to one room in a retirement residence. On listening we discovered that he had slept on it for three years. We worked it in beautifully.

A lady had lived in her home for 84 years and wanted to bring all her orchids and was told there was no room for them. We knew there was.  When she arrived in her new home she was so surprised to see them all there.

Another lady wanted to bring a 12 place setting of china to one room. Her grand daughter was away at university and she wanted to personally give her the china when she came to visit.

2. If possible focus on the priority of getting them moved as stress free as possible. We prefer to empty their home, condo or apartment after they move. Years ago we went to move a lady and she had a bed, dresser, chair, table, tv, and 2 lamps left in her large home. I don’t know how she felt but we were devastated that this was the last memories of her home

3. Work together with other family members. We all want to “look good” in the eyes of a parent or loved one. Most parents desire that their children have a working relationship with each other. To give a mom the memory of her children working together is actually a GIFT for her. She knows that one day she will be gone and hopes that the children will still have a relationship.

4. If needed book movers, elevator(s), phone, cable people. Confirm the move a couple of days before the move so there are no surprises.

5. If possible, when things are moving out have your loved one(s) busy somewhere else.(go for a drive, out for lunch, visit a friend…) It is safer for everyone when furniture is being moved not to have extra people there. For many seniors it is very emotional as reality hits them that they are leaving their home for good.

Leave a comment

Downsizing – It’s about what do I do with my stuff?

Helping seniors pack to move to a retirement homeSenior Moves has helped nearly 3000 people with the downsizing process. Most of them knew they needed to move and didn’t want to. They liked living in their familiar situations and DID NOT WANT ANY CHANGE. Unfortunately their situations had changed and they were overwhelmed! They didn`t know where to start.

We have discovered their biggest concern is what will they do with their stuff.

None of us know how much time we have and it is important to make the best of the time we do have. We ask our clients where they are planning to go and guide them in choosing things that will make their new residence home. It doesn’t matter if it is a 3 bedroom condo or adult bungalow or a small room in a nursing home, choices can be made that will help them settle in easier.

We ask how they would like to use their new space?

Do they want to have friends or family members visit in their new “home”?  (Choose chairs, possibly a smaller table with chairs, a kettle and coffee mugs, or wine glasses, plates for pizza or a cookie or muffin so they can be hospitable)

Do they want to spend  “alone time” in their suite? (Watching tv, reading, working on family pictures or records, writing a book, painting) They could take family members or friends out for lunch rather than have them in their suite.

Are there hobbies, collectibles, paintings that are important to them …

We always tell our precious seniors that they are THE PRIORITY and the first thing they need to do is identify  what will move with them.

Step 2 is what to give to family members

Step 3 is what to sell

Step 4 is what to donate

and step 5 is what to discard.

We find if they choose what to bring with them to enhance their life then do steps 2,3,4,and 5 that things go quite smoothly. Unfortunately seniors often think about steps 2 to 5 and don`t make number 1 the priority.

Leave a comment

Downsizing To A Condo

How to downsize to a condoPeople are leaving their homes and moving to condominiums.

Some have a need to have all living space on one floor while others are downsizing financially to “free up cash” to do the things they want. Many are tired of the upkeep and want more time to do the things that matter to them.

The first step is to look at finances and see what they should realistically spend. Several clients that we have worked with have downsized space yet paid MORE for their small condominium unit than they got from the sale of their 4 or 5 bedroom home.

A second step is lifestyle. What do they want to do with their lives during the next few years? Questions like:

Do they want winters away?

Are they interested in being on  a golf course?

Do they desire to be on the water?

Is being near family members important?

Is an exercise room or a pool a desire?

Is an activity room for crafts, cards, visitors wanted?

Is living in a secure community a priority?

Do they want to be part of an adult community?

Are services like meals and nursing care available if needed?…

A third step is location:

Is staying in the same area important?

Is moving near theaters and restaurants a desire?

Will they mind the traffic or noise nearby?

Are there buses, shops, doctors, or hospitals nearby?

Is the morning sun, a view, or privacy important?

The fourth step goes back to money.

If it is an older building, will there be major assessment fees for air conditioning, heating, window or balcony replacements , garage repairs, elevator repairs…? We have seen seniors assessed up to $30,000 and selling their unit at a loss because they didn’t have the necessary funds to remain in it.

If it is a new building does the developer have an excellent track record ?

What are the estimated monthly fees?

What do the fees cover?

Step five is to take the tentative contract to a lawyer who specializes in condos. Whether you buy the unit or not this is an excellent investment and worth the money.