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DIY Moving and Driving After Retirement

Friday, March 17, 2023
Happy couple over 40 on the porch of their new home after their DIY move

You waved a cheery goodbye to the daily grind and are ready to finally get to do things you are passionate about.

The first on your list is DIY moving to a new place you have been dreaming about for years. And doing it all on your own!

A DIY move is not impossible, but it is a task that needs to be planned well and thought through carefully. This article talks about how to organize a DIY move, what driving a moving truck involves, and when it may be wiser to rely on professional movers.

You will also find an overview of regulations governing the renewal of a driver’s license after 50, learn about the possible effects of aging on driving, and get tips on how to drive safely.

Without further ado, let’s get going!

Driver's license Renewal After 50

You might be worried about renewing your driver's license after 50 years of age. While there are no fixed limits on the maximum driving age, most states impose various conditions for drivers over 50, 60, or 65. 

In some states, drivers over 50 or 60 must renew their licenses every two or three years and pass a vision screening test.

It is a good idea to check specific requirements and rules of your state in advance to prepare the necessary documentation if you need to renew your driver’s license.

Driving After Retirement

Aging does not always affect driving. Many people in their 80s or even 90s continue to drive safely.

However, our physical and cognitive abilities may decline as we age. Drivers over 50 need to evaluate all risks and make necessary adjustments.

Our vision, hearing, reflexes, and physical fitness change as we age. These changes can make driving more difficult.

Due to problems with eyesight, driving at night can become challenging. Hearing loss can make us ignore emergency vehicles or the honking of other drivers. Slower reflexes mean we need more time to react to sudden situations in traffic. And if our muscles and joints become weaker and stiffer, it is hard to look over the shoulder when reversing or changing lanes.

A charming lady over 50 driving a car

How to Drive Safely After Retirement

Even if you and the people around you are happy with your driving skills, you still need to be aware that age takes its toll and take more precautions than you did when you were younger. 

There are several things that drivers over 50 can do to stay safe on the road:

  • Get regular vision and hearing checkups.
  • Avoid long trips and driving at night or in bad weather.
  • Avoid distractions while driving, such as using a cell phone or eating.
  • Take a defensive driving course to learn about the latest traffic rules and update your driving skills. For example, consider taking the AARP Smart Driver™ online course.

Driving a Truck After Retirement

If you plan a DIY move, you will probably want to rent a truck.

A moving truck is not a commercial vehicle. You can drive it with your standard driver’s license. Just check that it has not expired!

The not-so-good news is that driving a truck is not the same as driving a car. Heed these recommendations of experienced truckers:

  • Take time to learn about the clearance, controls, and safety equipment of the truck you'll be driving. 
  • Drive slowly, at least until you feel that you are in total control.
  • Keep ample driving distance.
  • Apply brakes sooner than you would when driving your car.
  • Avoid passing other vehicles unless absolutely necessary.
  • Allow enough space when switching lanes. 
  • Be aware that you need more room to turn.
  • Have someone help you back up or park.
  • Plan for more frequent stops to fill up.
  • Consider stopping over if you encounter bad weather.

Also, inquire about the right insurance. Everything inside your truck should be protected in case of an accident. 

What Kind of Moving Truck to Rent

Moving trucks come in several sizes. If your new home is a short distance away, you can rent a pick-up truck and then make several trips. Even a trailer would work for you, provided your car can handle the extra weight.

When moving far, you will want to fit everything into one truck. For that, you need a cargo truck or a big box truck. Try to calculate the total volume of your belongings as precisely as possible. If in doubt, go for a size up but don’t allow your belongings to move around. Make sure everything is firmly secured and padded. 

Opt for a truck with a loading ramp. It makes a big difference when loading and unloading heavy items.

If you are used to driving an automatic vehicle, rent a moving truck with automated transmission. Also, check that the truck rental company has a return center near your new home.

And in case you have never driven a truck, rent a portable moving container. You can load the container with all your belongings over several days and then have a moving company ship it to your destination. This is also good short-term storage in case your new home is not ready yet.  

Man taping a box as he’s preparing his items for the movers to take them out and move to new home

How to Prepare for DIY Moving

DIY moving is definitely doable, even if you are retired, but it is not easy and requires a lot of planning. You need to invest in proper supplies so that your possessions stay safe. Moving your belongings the DIY way will save you money, but skimping on supplies could cost you even more.

Well before the moving day, be sure to:

  • Sell, donate or throw away anything you don’t need. 
  • Start collecting sturdy boxes of various sizes. You may get some for free at your local stores.
  • Buy moving supplies such as tape, tape dispenser, stretch wrap, straps, rope, and tools for disassembling furniture.
  • Photograph your electronic components to know what goes where when it’s time to reassemble.
  • Find two to four capable helpers. 
  • Hire a furniture dolly and a heavy-duty appliance dolly.

DIY Moving Tips

Taking care of your belongings and yourself is crucial for the success of a DIY move. Make sure to:  

  • Start packing a week or two before moving day.
  • Pack heavy items into small boxes and light items into large boxes. 
  • Fill in any gaps. Nothing inside the boxes should rattle.
  • Label every box.
  • Load large items onto the truck first. Secure everything with straps or ropes.
  • Warm up your muscles before lifting heavy things.
  • Drink lots of water. 
  • Remember to provide drinks and food for your helpers. 

Is DIY Moving A Wise Option?

Some people opt for a DIY move to save money, while others prefer to entrust the move to professionals for convenience and peace of mind.

Whether or not it is wise to undertake a DIY move depends on many factors, including the distance, the amount and type of items being moved, and the physical ability of the people handling the move. 

If you are moving a short distance and have a small number of items to move, a DIY move can be a good option. However, if you are moving long-distance or have many belongings, consider hiring a professional company.

Additionally, heavy or fragile items that require special handling are not well-suited for a DIY move. Professional movers are trained to handle these items and have the equipment to move them safely.

If you have any physical limitations or health conditions that make it difficult to move heavy items, give the DIY move a miss. 

Husband and wife over 50 smiling at each other while enjoying their dinner after moving to a new home

Entrust Your Move to Shyft

While it will be more expensive, hiring a professional moving company will save you time and energy. And finding the right moving company is a breeze with AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft.   

Whether you need to downsize, move closer to your family, or relocate to the place of your dreams, you can count on Shyft to organize your move from one home to another professionally and worry-free.

AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft is an online platform that helps people over 50 with their moving needs. It provides access to a network of trusted moving companies. The platform is designed to make the moving process as stress-free and efficient as possible. 

Using AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft is a simple affair. Shyft even has a moving checklist that you can print and then tick off item by item. Just scroll down the AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft page and enter your email address.

When you are ready to proceed with the move, download Shyft’s free and user-friendly moving app, called Shyft Next. Shyft Next is available for iPhone and Android devices.

Then schedule a video call with a Shyft representative. You can do that online or by calling Shyft at 1-888-501-3181.

The Shyft representative that you talk to will be your dedicated Move Coach. 

During the video call, point the camera on your device at the items you want to take to your new home. The Shyft Move Coach will make an inventory and advise you on your options and approximate costs. All that in only about 30 minutes! No need to have people come to your home to survey your belongings. 

The inventory list created during the video call is about 95% accurate. You can add or remove items until you make it 100% accurate.

The completed list goes to a secure Shyft platform, where vetted moving companies submit their offers. Shyft will send you at least three quotes so that you can choose the mover that suits you. That means you save hours and hours that you would have spent reviewing moving companies and getting quotes from them. 

As soon as you accept one of the quotes your Shyft Move Coach sent, the price is locked and cannot be changed unless you add or remove items, alter the move distance, or fail to book your move before the quote expiry date.

Your Move Coach will oversee the whole process from start to finish. They will help you every step of the way and ensure that you get high-quality service.

As an AARP member, you get up to a $250 discount for every move you book, no matter how many times you decide to move and where you decide to move to. 

Learn more about AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft online or call 1-888-501-3181 if you have any questions or concerns. 

Shyft is available to you seven days a week.

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