Up to 80% of retirees decide to stay in their initial homes after they retire. They have lived there throughout their lives and are relaxed there. However, could you experience more relaxation somewhere else? Perhaps you should spend some more time thinking through things. How much space do you truly need to be relaxed in retirement? What are your choices? Things you might want to think about include the cost, geographic situation, availability of services, and maintenance factors. Think about the different scenarios and how they might apply to you, such as whether to stay in one location or to relocate. You might wish to relocate across town, or perhaps across the country. If you were always interested in moving to somewhere dry or sunny, this could be your chance. You might also be interested in relocating because you would like to be closer to your children and your grandchildren.
The first thing to consider is your cost of living. The majority of other retirement issues will come second to the fiscal factors. If you decide to stay where you are, typically, your mortgage will already have been paid off, which is a large part of your fixed, or non negotiable costs. Here, you would only need to add money to your budget to account for inflation, taxes, and costs of operation. Then you should consider the cost of maintenance. If your home is in good condition, this should not cost too much. If you have not replaced your furnace in a decade, you might need a new one at this point. Similarly, if you have a 20-year-old roof, you might want to factor in a replacement in the next few years.
If you would like to stay in your current home when you retire, you should make maintaining your home a priority. As we age, we are typically less interested and capable in maintaining our homes, especially if they are older homes. It becomes less fun to cut grass or shovel snow after 60 years of doing so. Some people enjoy being able to continue to do it at 70, but you might want to consider riding mowers and snow blowers.
If you move, you will need to pay for housing wherever you end up. The operating expenses will be less in smaller homes and maintenance will be much less in a newer home. You can consider lots of options including renting your home, reverse mortgages, and living in cheaper areas, or simply using your saved money in cheaper areas to retire more fully. Speak with one of our financial advisers and consider your retirement goals thoroughly.
Something else that is important to consider is the access you will have to different services. As you get older and approach retirement, you will probably have a greater need to be able to get to different kinds of medical care, groceries, and an everyday pharmacy. Will you be able to go shopping or get to the local supermarket easily? Will there be some form of public transit you can use if you or your spouse becomes unable to drive in the future? It can be wise to make the decision ahead of time to move closer to some of the things you use frequently as you age.