Market Grows for Senior Downsizing Services

November 14, 2017

Entrepreneurs are starting business niches to help the growing number of baby boomers who are moving their aging parents, The Wall Street Journal reports.

These firms assist with the entire process: clearing out a home and choosing what to throw away, donate, or sell; packing and moving; holding estate sales; and preparing houses for sale.

“There is more business than we can handle,” said Kimberly McMahon, co-founder of Let’s Move, which caters to downsizing seniors in the Washington, D.C., area. McMahon told The Wall Street Journal that her company has grown an average of 50 percent a year for the past decade. “The industry is booming.”

Her company helps consumers move out and also get settled into their new homes by hanging pictures and making beds to ease the transition.

Changing demographics are key to the growth of these downsizing niches, says Mary Kay Buysse, executive director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers. Baby boomers want to help their parents downsize and relocate. However, they are often too busy juggling their own family or work. They may want to bring in a third-party professional to help.

“Going through a lifetime of possessions and taking a house thats 2,500 square feet and moving to a 400-square-foot assisted-living community, it’s not easy work. Its draining for everybody,” Buysse told The Wall Street Journal. And sometimes having an unbiased party involved can help, too.

Some retirement communities are even offering to cover downsizing and relocation services in order to attract new residents, Buysse says.

Demand for these types of companies is expected to grow further.

“We’re still five to seven years away from critical mass,” Buysse says. The oldest boomers of the 79 million baby boomers are currently 71 years old, she adds.

As for the costs of these services, they vary but tend to range from $40 to $125 per hour, Buysse says.

Source: “Ready to Downsize? There’s Plenty of Help,” The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 12, 2017) (login required)