New Breed of Company Provides Seniors with a Moving Experience
Their business names roll off the tongue like a silky lullaby: Gentle Transitions, Caring Transitions, and Moving Matters.
These and about 1,000 other companies like them across the country are helping mostly seniors downsize and relocate. Unlike professional organizers who mostly help people control and manage their clutter and hoarding tendencies, senior move managers help the elderly reduce, pack up, move and set up a new life in their new home.
This set-up includes connecting and testing all the electronic devices, hanging all pictures and paintings and, lastly, leaving a fresh mint on the pillow.
These senior moving companies have become so popular that they now have their own association, the National Association of Senior Move Managers.
According to a 2017 Wall Street Journal article, Cincinnati-based Caring Transitions Inc now has 178 franchisees – 17 of which opened the previous year.
What’s driving the trend?
Demographics, pure and simple. There are 79 million baby boomers, with the oldest now just reaching age 71. As a result, more and more baby boomers are requesting the senior moving service for themselves or for their parents. They either lack the time or the physical stamina that downsizing and moving often require.
What’s Different About These Services?
Moving is a stressful, emotional experience and moving after possibly 30 or 40 years in a home can be overwhelming. How does one process and sort through a lifetime of possessions and memories?
This savvy-senior segment has decided that it’s the kind of work best suited for third-party professionals and trusted intermediaries who at once can bring both empathy and a certain detachment to their work. These are vital professional qualities when helping an older adult downsize from, perhaps, a 2,400-square-foot home to a 500-square-foot assisted-living or retirement community.
At first blush, the service may seem expensive. Prices can range from $25 to $100 an hour, but most senior move managers operate successfully somewhere in the middle. Typical jobs can run from $2,500 to $10,000. Again, the service isn’t cheap, but for many seniors who may experience capital gains of $250,000, $500,000 or even a $1 million on the sale of their home, the investment might seem like a bargain.
More Services Attract More Seniors
Many active retirement communities or continuing care retirement communities, also known as CCRCs, have discovered that offering downsizing and relocation services for free is a powerful inducement to attract seniors to their facilities. So, if you’re considering a move to a retirement community, ask if the facility will pick up the tab of your move.
While many senior move managers may offer the same services, they don’t all offer the same level of service. So, do your due diligence. Consult the National Association of Senior Move Managers for companies in your area, check with the Better Business Bureau to see whether any complaints have been filed against the provider, and interview the providers, including calling a few of their recent customers. Also, ask your local retirement community that you’re considering moving to for its recommendation.
Selecting the right senior move manager can help baby boomers and their parents unpack many of their downsizing and relocation anxieties — and that kind of peace of mind can be truly golden.