My Washington-based grandparents will soon be moving into an assisted living apartment, begging the question of what’s going to happen to their boat. There’s no room for it at the apartment complex. They haven’t used it much over the last few years and paying a monthly storage fee for something they no longer need is a waste of their resources. Since my grandparents are living comfortably and don’t feel like going to the trouble of selling or refurbishing the boat, they’ve decided to donate it, thanks to a little research my mom and I did.
Benefits Charitable Causes
Grandma and Grandpa love giving to charitable causes. Now that they’re not working, they spend more time than ever volunteering for causes they believe in. When looking into downsizing their home, they wanted to benefit others. My mom found an organization that takes used boats, no matter the condition, fixes them up and turns around to sell them to new owners — giving the proceeds to charity. Grandma and Grandpa loved the list of charities benefitting from the donations, so it was a perfect match.
Convenient Pick Up
Moving is never easy. Moving after several decades in one home is probably one of the hardest things my grandparents have ever had to do. Between deciding what to keep and what to take with them, packing up an entire chapter of their lives, trying to sell their old home and arranging all of the moving, things are starting to get piled up in a corner to deal with later. Getting rid of the stuff they’ve decided to donate or junk is absolutely the last thing on their to-do list, but Mom and I worried potential house buyers were going to be turned off by the piles of junk in the yard and in the basement corner.
The boat takes up almost half of their backyard. We want potential buyers to see the maximum space the backyard has to offer, and we need to get to work on fixing up the dead grass underneath the boat — which has been sitting there unused for so long. Luckily, some boat donation services will pick up the boat free of charge, so the most trouble Grandma and Grandpa will have is making a phone call.
They Do Make Some Money on the Donation
Like any retiree without a salaried income, my grandmother likes to keep her household on a budget. Donating saves my grandparents money because they don’t have to pay seller’s or shipping fees like they would if they’d opted to sell it. Plus, they get to deduct the full value of the boat from their taxes at the end of the year, which means they’ll get back a bigger refund or pay less, whatever winds up being the case for them. They were probably going to donate it regardless, but it’s a relief to know that the investment they made on their vessel all those years ago is still going to pay off.
Boating Is in the Family
Just because they’re giving up their boat doesn’t mean my grandparents are giving up boating. We love boating as a family. My uncle has a boat of his own he happily lends out when he’s not using it (and if we aren’t already invited on his boating trip.) If Grandma and Grandpa want to use it when it’s unavailable, there’s a dock where they can rent boats just a few miles from their new place. It makes more sense for my grandparents not to deal with the cost and hassle of boat ownership at their age when there are convenient alternatives.
The Assisted Living Federation of America reports there are over one million seniors in assisted living in the U.S., so Grandma and Grandpa are in good company. Although my grandparents were wary about leaving their home of several decades behind, they decided it was best for them to stop worrying about so much land and so much stuff. Assisted living is about seizing all life has to offer without being burdened with life’s hassles. And with a family like ours, they won’t have to fear missing out on any boating trips.
About the Author: Heather McIntosh is an outdoor living blogger and an avid boater. She had such a good experience that she recommends all people considering downsizing their homes donate their boats to Boat Angel.