Looking forward to the golden years, when the kids move out and the workweek becomes more focussed on volunteer activities and your favourite hobby? As you enter this new semi-retirement or retirement phase of your life, your needs and priorities will change and combined with practical concerns for your financial future, you may even consider selling your family home. Although full retirement might still be several years off, moving to a more suitable and affordable residence today may be the best move for the long term. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating your future lifestyle and residence.
Review Your Budget
When weighing the pros and cons of staying in your present home, there are many issues to consider. Long-term budget planning should take into account not only standard day-to-day expenses, but also the cost of home improvements, repairs or replacement of aging appliances or home heating/cooling systems. In addition, there are practical considerations such as the style of home and the possible physical or financial burden of property management in later years.
As you approach retirement you may prefer to invest money typically spent on ongoing costs such as utilities, home insurance and property taxes into other savings vehicles or simply want to free up some of the equity that has built up over the years in your present home. Many people use this equity to supplement their retirement savings, help their children with education costs or to purchase another home. Whatever the reason, it’s important to seek solid real estate and financial advice before making a decision.
Facts to Consider before Choosing a New Residence
If you are considering moving out of your empty nest, bear in mind that the type, style and location of a new residence should encompass all you imagine for your future retirement lifestyle. You will finally have the time to participate in all the activities you’ve never managed to squeeze in before; therefore, it is important to take into account proximity to family, friends and the facilities that house your favourite recreational or social activities. This may include golf courses, church, recreational facilities, social clubs or the local theatre.
Inside your new residence, you may desire an additional bedroom for visits from grandchildren or an easy-access bathroom with improved shower, bath and toilet for greater comfort in the future. In addition, wide, shallow steps and an easy front walk-up will be important inclusions for less limbre bodies. Also keep in mind that sufficient outdoor lighting is a necessity for home security and personal safety. And remember, although you may be moving to a smaller residence overall, your personal space will likely be greater due to innovative designs created with the retirement lifestyle in mind, perhaps in the form of a dressing room, art studio or office.
Retiring to the family cottage, chalet, farm or other recreational property is an emerging retirement trend. Again, this decision must involve many practical and emotional considerations that are unique to each individual. Rural properties often require renovation or landscaping to improve accessibility to meet changing needs. Common improvements include upgraded driveways, new steps leading to waterfront areas, and smoothing rugged terrain.
Before making a decision to move out of town to a vacation home or any type of residence, imagine yourself living day-to-day further away from family and friends and try to explore potential ramifications of the increased distance. You may consider building a guestroom so that you can entertain friends and family on a regular basis, while still enjoying your quiet, country retreat.
Whether you choose to stay in the family home, build, move to a recreational property or condominium, consider the activities you currently enjoy and reflect on your evolving interests and the new priorities of your future.