Downsizing in Retirement

There are a number of things to consider once you are ready to retire. There are several decisions and life changes that you may want to make to ensure that you are able to enjoy your retirement to the fullest. One of the major aspects of your life that you will need to think about will be your housing arrangement and if you think your housing needs may change as you get older. You may have invested a great deal of money, effort, and resources into your family home and it is most likely where you have experienced and made many memories, including those you may have had with your children and other family members. However, for many retirees, the idea of keeping up with a large house can be daunting. It means that you must keep up with ongoing repairs, cleaning and maintaining as well as the increased heating and utility costs. Many retirees start to think about other housing options that may require less upkeep and are a little more inexpensive to maintain.

A lot of retirees find that the home they built was once filled with a large family, lots of laughter, and continuous activity. However, once you have reached retirement age you have probably noticed that the loud and active house to which you have become accustomed has grown a bit duller and a lot quieter. Once you are ready to retire, your children have most likely moved on to start their own lives and families and you are left with a large house that requires care and upkeep on a regular basis. If you have reached this point, downsizing may be the most sensible option for your particular situation.

If you have owned your home for quite some time and own it outright, you have a large asset on your hands and you can use it to your advantage. If all of your mortgage debts have long since paid-off, you are in an especially strong financial position, and will have a broad range of low maintenance property options available to you. Once you are able to find a buyer for your property, you can start looking into these more affordable options. With all of the cash that you have made from your larger property, you could be in a very advantageous position to buy something more affordable. Paying for your new home in cash can mean that you are able to get a great deal. This means that you may be able to purchase your new home outright and you will no longer be burdened with taking care of a large property. You also won’t be bogged down with big heating and utility bills.

Because you are likely to be able to make a cash purchase, you will have many options available to you. When looking for your new home you may want to consider proximity to the stores, offices, family members, and businesses you frequent the most. Depending on your preferences, you may want to be close by to the areas that are most important to you. You may have other considerations for your new home as well. For example, many retirees think about ensuring that they purchase a home that is all on one level. This of course can make navigating your home easier should you develop mobility issues as you age. You may also want to find a home that offers a certain level of privacy. You could choose a home that is detached or semi-detached. And lastly, you will need to decide if you would like a large yard. Of course, a large yard will require more maintenance. However, you may enjoy gardening and in that case you would want to purchase a home that has a yard large enough for you to have a garden of some sort. If you do decide to re-locate and downsize to a detached home, you can anticipate that general maintenance and cleaning will be much easier, with everything being on the same level and within easy reach. All of the options available to you will depend on your personal preferences and what will work best for you.

If a detached home is not your first choice, there are other options available such as living in a complex where you will have very minimal maintenance and cleaning to perform. It really depends on your preferences and your level of comfort in maintaining your new home. It is important for you to consider what your limitations may be as you age further. What may be only slightly difficult for you today could turn out to be a real struggle as you age. Your potential limitations should be considered should you choose to make a new home purchase.