Today’s Wall Street Journal offers an article this morning entitled, “Trading Down: Can It Still Bankroll Your Retirement?” It’s even more interesting because a major cable network called the NASMM office about ten days ago, seeking resources for a similarly-angled story. Huh?
The thought is that we have long relied on home equity as an additional revenue source in later life. Since the housing bust of the last two years, we no longer lean on our homes as our family’s “cash cow.” As a result, many folks predicted the emerging senior move management profession would experience a short shelf life because older adults are “staying put” in record numbers these last few years.
With considerably less equity in their homes, older adults do not always have the resources to pay the rents and fees for independent and assisted living communities. Furthermore, older adults are seeing their “empty nests” of twenty years now being filled again with adult children and grandchildren who are long-term unemployed. “Age-in-place” has become the latest buzzword in the aging services community.
If no one is moving, how can senior move management survive?
We are here to say that senior move management is defying the odds, in many ways and on many levels. In fact, the senior move management profession continues to grow beyond all expectations. Last year, during the worst of the worst, NASMM added 150 new members to its roster!
Why? We believe there are many reasons:
- The numbers tell part of the story. The U.S. population aged 65 and over will jump nearly 80 percent when the Baby Boom generation retires (from 2010 to 2030).
- SMM professionals make themselves indispensable to the many clients who tap into their services. The word-of-mouth marketing on senior move management is amazing. It’s a service that truly serves.
- Adult children – baby boomers – have long outsourced for their own services, so they are comfortable doing so when they are called upon to help their parents. This generation loves “specialists.” A senior move specialist just makes sense. Senior move managers have significant expertise in resources and approaches that save money, reduce stress and produce quality results.
- These same adult children are often scattered across the country, and they desperately need on-site, on-the-ground resources to help them manage all aspect of a parent’s care.
- Older adults making a transition have usually not moved in 30, 40 or 50 years and need to downsize considerably. The organizational and physical tasks associated with planning and implementing such a complex move can be overwhelming for the entire family.
- During this difficult economic downturn, NASMM-member senior move managers are adding other services to their menus of service: downsizing and de-cluttering now, even if the move won’t take place for two years, and acquiring “age-in-place” skills to help older adults remain in their own homes with some modifications.
Senior move managers are entrepreneurs in the very best sense of the word. They are, quite simply, creative problem-solvers. Recession or double-dip recession, I would not bet against senior move management. It continues to surprise even its most ardent supporters – us!