Moving in the Right Direction

What Is The Top Fear Keeping You From Making A Move?

Photo Oct 16, 11 31 29 PM.jpgThere comes a time in the lives of many seniors when staying in their current home is no longer a safe or wise choice. It may be because the stairs have become more difficult or impossible to negotiate. It might be that the general upkeep of the house has become overwhelming. Or it may simply be because they’re experiencing declining health.

Sadly, too many seniors continue to live in homes which do not meet their physical and/or mental needs. 

I have been a Realtor in the Metro Milwaukee area for over 30 years and am a Senior Real Estate Specialist – that is, a specialist in helping senior citizens to make appropriate housing decisions. I have been in the homes of hundreds of seniors, listening to their stories and watching their faces.

In too many cases, those faces have painted a picture of fear and frustration. I needed to get to the root causes of their fears, hopes and desires. I wanted to know what seniors were really thinking about when it comes to such an important aspect of their lives – their home!

Why were they staying in their homes when it was obvious a move should be made?

The Survey

I decided to survey my senior clients who were still in their homes. The majority of the respondents had attended a “moving seminar.” The seminars provide information regarding affordability of senior housing, downsizing and the process of selling their home and moving. Most of the seniors were ages 72-83 years old.

Seven hundred surveys were distributed. Statistically, I expected to get back 1%, or seven.

However, I received about 10% or 70! The questions were open ended (subjective) with no choice of answers. The seniors were free to answer any way they chose. This was not a scientific study, but simply an attempt at compiling the beliefs of seniors faced with the decision whether or not to sell their home.


The first question asked on the survey: What is the top fear keeping you from making a move?

Answer: Fear of change.

The issues on their minds when considering a move were:

  • Going to new surroundings
  • Leaving the neighborhood
  • Emotional separation from their home of many years

It is hard to leave what you’ve known for 30-50 years, and move to a new home where surroundings are unfamiliar. Many of my clients had a tough time pondering the decision whether or not a move would benefit their lifestyles, even though they knew that their current residence was not meeting their needs.

Leaving neighbors who you’ve shared so many experiences is tough. We are all creatures of habit. The natural tendency is to stay with what we know. We feel comfortable and safe in situations that are familiar to us.

But there comes a time when our logical self is telling us that being comfortable may not be the right lifestyle when considering our health demands as well as our ability to maintain our properties.

Overcoming the Fear of Change

  1. Visit the many senior communities and senior apartments in your area.

    You will be surprised at the many wonderful choices available. Marketing directors will be happy to not only give you a personal tour of their facility, but will also explain the many different types of senior housing available: from independent care, to senior apartments, to life care. They will help you analyze your financial capabilities, and assess your particular situation to suggest a type of housing to match your lifestyle, and health needs. 

  2. Talk to your trusted advisors; clergy, attorney, relatives, physician, best friend.

    Tell them your true feelings, and describe how your current situation is affecting your view of life. Divulge any difficulties you may be experiencing such as physical hardships, as well as anxieties such as loneliness. Let them guide you with their love and concern and help you to make the right decision.

  3. Make two lists side by side.

    On one side all of the reasons a move would benefit you and on the other side all of the objections you may have. Then put it away for a couple of days, and then take it out and really read your answers. It then may be obvious as to the path you will take.

Join Us March 5, 2019 for 'Moving in the Right Direction: A Seminar for Seniors'

Presented by Bruce and Jeanne Nemovitz and Adele Lund of the Laureate Group, this free seminar is for seniors who are considering a move from their long-time home or have questions about housing options. 

Experts will answer questions and share their advice about staging a home, VA and family care benefits, home repairs, downsizing, move services, real-estate, valuing a property, and much more.

All are welcome, but space is limited, so register here as soon as possible.

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Know that fear (False Evidence Appearing Real) can lull you into a sense of acceptance of a situation that may be keeping you from truly enjoying your life. Especially when you’ve spent so many years waiting for the day when you could relax and enjoy! It’s never too late to decide that this day will be the first day of the rest of your life!