When we discuss retirement planning with our clients, most tend to focus on the “when” and “how” questions. For example, “When can I retire?” and “How much money do I need to save?” But most should also ask themselves another important question: “Where do I want to retire?”
You might assume that once you’ve paid off the mortgage on your “forever home”, you will simply retire and stay there. But many retirees later discover that their old home simply does not suit them anymore and need to make changes to their retirement plans. It would be a good idea to investigate this topic now, so that you can plan ahead for a move in retirement if that becomes necessary.
Does your home really suit this new phase of your life? Do you really need (and want to clean) three bathrooms? Is your huge yard a burden? Would a one-level home suit you better? Would you prefer certain amenities that make life easier as you get older? Sometimes the big old family home simply does not suit the retiree who would prefer lower maintenance or more compact space.
Does your home’s location please you? Proximity to work and school might have motivated your home purchase years ago. But once the kids are grown and you’re no longer tied to an office, does this location really suit you as you move into a new phase of life? Maybe you would like to be closer to children and grandchildren or prefer a different climate. Now is the time to make that change.
Can you really afford the home? Even if you’ve paid off the mortgage, you will still have to pay property taxes (which can be reassessed and raised at any time). Homeowners insurance and maintenance are two more significant costs of home ownership. How will you pay for a new roof, yard maintenance, repair of old plumbing, and so on?
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, you might realize that downsizing, changing locations, or reducing expenses makes more sense for your retirement plan. Give us a call and we can discuss your options and decide how a move could fit into your future.