It’s well known that 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day, and this will continue to happen for many years. The plans they have made will include leisure activities, vacations and travel, and may include starting an internet business or finding part-time work. They will also need to decide where they want to live.
Today there are many housing choices for retirees. Retirement communities, 55+Active Adult apartments and house sharing, to name a few. Buying a vacation home, usually in a warm climate, has been the choice of many for years. Think snowbirds in Arizona and Florida.
The fact is, today’s retiree may be younger, have less money saved, and prioritize a cash flow, rather than a second home to live in. The primary house may become a rental property, at least part of the year. The option to sell later is on the table. They then begin a search for rental property for themselves, something smaller than their home.
The advantages seem to be foolproof. But there are important downsides to selling a home that is paid for, and has been well-maintained. While it is a rental property, it has to be managed, repaired, taxed and kept filled. Meanwhile, the housing you now have for yourself can be perfect, or less than ideal. It takes careful research to find that roof over your head.
Let’s look at a few options to consider. For those of you already retired, or planning to do so soon, housing is a critical issue.
The Family Home
Memories abound in the place you call “home”. Your dream home may be the first one you bought, or the one you finally said, “This is it. We’ll live here forever”.
Children grew up here, some extended family were close by, your neighbors were “family”, and your livelihood was secure.
Why would you ever leave?
Unless the house isn’t in the greatest shape.
Plumbing and wiring need updates every few years. The roof starts to leak and the shingles are shot. Porches take a beating from the weather and need repair, and then there’s that coat of paint.
Keep Or Sell
If you are nearing retirement, look at the condition of the house. Whether you stay or sell, it should be in tiptop condition. Do it while you’re still getting a paycheck.
Professionals should be hired to do the evaluation. Discuss and take notes with each person. Get quotes for repairs and go over your finances.
It’s crucial for your house to be completely safe and well maintained, whether you live in it, or someone else does. Then go over your budget.
If you determine that the house is in good shape and you wish to remain in it, build your retirement plans around that fact.
If you are retired, or nearing retirement and live alone, your money situation is especially critical. You may not have enough income to completely renovate a house. Or you might be thinking of turning it into an AirB&B for a cash flow. Talk to professionals and get insightful advice. Your home shouldn’t be a liability. Whether you want to keep it, for any reason, or sell it, take your time.
Good, sound advice is at your fingertips. Start by reading articles on senior websites. Then, do research to find professionals in your area. Take short vacations to places that sound interesting and check out the quality of living, surroundings, points of interest, and ease of everyday living. Don’t buy or rent long term until you’re sure you’ll love it.
Here are a few good resources.
This website has broad, general information on many things senior.
Emphasizes mistakes commonly made.
As always, good resources. I especially like the recommendation to find your next home before selling.
Whether you are single or a couple, a home to call your own is a priority. The retirement years can be wonderful or stressful. Do your homework, then start living!
Single women, especially, have to make careful decisions. We’re more likely to be short of cash flow, we need to emphasize security, and we often function in a couples-dominated world. Don’t hesitate to get professional advice.
Thank you for reading my blog. I love to hear from everyone.