Everyone dreams of the day they can retire. It’s a time of well-earned rest after a career of work, a time to enjoy the payoff of a lifetime of work and spend time on things you really love. Planning for retirement takes effort and includes a great many details. One of those details you shouldn’t overlook is what you’ll do about housing in retirement. Like every other facet of retiring, getting the kind of senior housing you want will take forethought. Here are few ways you can start thinking ahead now to plan for housing in retirement:
- Plan to pay off your mortgage before or just after you retire. This will free up more of your fixed income after you stop receiving a normal paycheck.
- Consider downsizing. In retirement, you may not need as much space as you did when you were still raising children. Plus, a one-level home will be much easier to age in place.
- Rent out a room. In many urban cities, it would be very easy for you to rent out a room of your house for extra money that can go towards mortgage payoff or other retirement costs.
- Think about renting yourself. This may not seem like an attractive option, but renting does give you more flexibility than actually owning a home. In some markets, renting may not save you money, but in others the savings could be significant. Depending on what you want your housing in retirement to look like, this could free up cash to save for a big move.
- Build a strong financial cushion. Of course this seems obvious, but I would be remiss not to mention it. Financial margin will open up your senior housing options significantly.
- Know what you actually need. Defining your goals is important. Do you want to age in place in a home? Then research the costs of remodeling a house for that need. Are you hoping to retire someplace sunny and warm? Dig into what the cost of living is in that city and state. It may not be pleasant to think about, but it’s also important to know the costs required for the kind of assisted living you would like to have if that day comes.
- Look into your financing options. Do you know exactly how much equity you’ve built in your home? Have you researched reverse mortgages? There are many ways you can plan for housing in retirement; take the time to talk with a financial advisor who can help you make informed decisions about your future.
If part of your plan for housing in retirement includes selling your current home or buying a different one, I would love to help. I am an SRES Agent, and helping seniors with their housing needs is my specialty and passion.