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When it comes to making major decisions, you don’t have to do it alone. Your family is your best resource for support, advice and strength. As you plan the next chapter in your life, don’t overlook the helpful role that your children and grandchildren can play.

Making the decision to downsize into a smaller home is often a difficult one. How do you know when it’s the right time to make a move? Sometimes it’s not readily apparent; others may not realize how increasingly difficult it is to climb the stairs or keep that big house clean. But, remember, it’s not a decision that you have to make alone. Friends and family members may see the situation more clearly, and can offer helpful research and compassionate advice.

Once you’ve decided to downsize, your next step will be a big one. Where is your next home going to be? Your friends and family can help you evaluate your options. Would you like to move closer to your loved ones? Would you be happier in a low-maintenance single family home, or a one-level condo? Would you be more comfortable in a large development with lots of amenities, or a smaller neighborhood with a close-knit feel? Don’t just read about your options – take time to visit them too. Asking a child or grandchild to come along can give you a trusted ear to talk to as you think about your future plans.

It’s important to remember that asking your loved ones for help does not mean that you are losing your independence or are unable to make choices by yourself. Nobody should be expected to make important life decisions alone, and consulting with family members can also create the opportunity for growth in your relationships.

Throughout the process, focus on the positive reasons for making your move. You’re taking control of your life, and making the right decision at the right time. Once you’re no longer burdened with the upkeep of your home, you’ll have more time for doing the things you love and seeing the people you love, too.