Transitioning into retirement is a big change in anyone’s life and it can cause you to re-evaluate your real estate goals. Both the decision to retire and what you choose to do with your current home are financial and lifestyle decisions – and important decisions that can impact how you choose to live your retired life.
Many people approaching retirement choose to sell their larger home and move into a more manageable property. For some people, downsizing means moving into a condo, which means less time spent on property maintenance. For others, it means moving into a smaller home and taking the opportunity to get rid of excess items in their home.
Here is some more information on the different homeownership options you may have for your retirement.
Retirement and Homeownership
Downsizing involves selling (or renting out) your current home and buying a smaller home.
There are many advantages to downsizing during retirement. A smaller home requires less maintenance, and can have lower taxes. It can also be better suited to reduced mobility that comes with aging, such as fewer stairs. Depending on how you finance the new home, downsizing can also reduce your monthly financial burden while on a fixed income.
Downsizing does require the management of the sale of your home (or transitioning of it to a rental property). If your home has appreciated significantly in value, there could be tax implications associated with a large capital gain with your home sale. Versus renting in retirement, downsizing still includes homeowner risks for unexpected major home repairs, which can be challenging when on a fixed income in retirement.
CASHOUT AND RENTING
This retirement strategy includes selling (or renting out) your current home and electing not to purchase a new home, but instead renting a place to live.
Depending on the financial situation of your current home (equity vs market value, remaining mortgage, etc.), selling your home and not re-investing in a new property can have a number of advantages. Freedom from home maintenance and not being responsible for property taxes are attractive aspects of renting. Plus, renting versus owning can make it easier to relocate in the future, as your lifestyle and needs continue to change during retirement.
On the other hand, becoming a renter brings the uncertainty of rent increases, which can be difficult when on a fixed income. Transitioning to renting also involves having to rely on a landlord for maintenance issues.
For some, retirement brings the opportunity to move to a new location that is more consistent with your new lifestyle needs and desires.
Especially if your current location was chosen for the benefits of your children (school system, neighborhood, etc.), becoming an ’empty nester’ now affords you the opportunity to choose a location suited to your new priorities. This could be moving from the suburbs to be closer to the amenities of a more urban area, or relocating to the bliss of living in the countryside. A relocation can provide better weather conditions or access to important recreational settings. An important consideration for relocating can be improved proximity to family.Read more.