A Defining Event

I recently met with a real estate broker who manages significant, luxury properties.  We were discussing why some of her clients move out of very large homes and estates.  A term I said we often use at Simplified Lives is, “a defining event”.  She agreed that was a good descriptor for what she encounters with clients who have decided that very large, multi-story homes (and townhouses) are more than they want to manage.

Last fall, I had to have surgery on my right hand.  I had an arthritic thumb rebuilt (ugh) – and while it is completely healed, it was a very long eight-week recovery! (Yes, I am right-handed!)  I had planned for my surgery, and was set-up with a company to cook weeknight meals, and a cleaning person to help around the house (and my very helpful husband!).  But what if I had accidentally fallen, broken my right hand, I lived alone, and then had unforeseen complications? I have thought it would have been extremely difficult to manage a home and a business!

Our clients tend to be active (mentally and physically) and they travel. Our clients sail, ski, and hike in far-off mountain ranges. They scuba dive and play in ice hockey leagues – you name it, many of our clients are always on the go and many are facing hip replacements, knee replacements and more drastic surgery.  Most of our clients are aging gracefully, and actively, but they are still aging!  An active retired person breaking a bone in a skiing or bicycling accident – is a defining event! 

Think of a couple, together over many years, and one person begins to have diminished executive functioning skills, or is slowly losing their memory. The mentally stronger person in the couple becomes indispensable to maintaining a livelihood and their home life.  When the stronger of the two people has something happen (as simple as a bad fall on a slippery curb when getting out of a car to go into a restaurant) resulting in broken bones and a need for surgery. This is “a defining event”. The couple may have to negotiate the stark reality of their inability to remain in a big house with a lot of space (and many stairs) and accompanying maintenance of house, garden, yard or grounds. Even with live-in help, upkeep and maintenance of their home can become a burden.

If you are thinking about downsizing, and you do not even know where to begin – or if you have had “a defining event” in your life resulting in your desire to move – Simplified Lives can help!  We solve problems and we specialize in working through complicated situations and large homes.

By Valerie Achorn

Valerie Achorn, M.P.A., President of Simplified Lives has many years of experience managing moves for clients around the country. Holding a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (M.P.A.) from Harvard University, Valerie brings a broad management background and savvy networking skills to Simplified Lives.