3 Considerations to Prepare Your Home for Retirement

By on May 13, 2020

No matter if your retirement is right around the corner or set to begin in a couple of years, your house will be a valuable part of the rest of your life. Some retirees will already have paid off their houses. Others will still have a little bit left on the mortgages. In any case, you should have a plan in mind for how to best make your home suitable for your needs when you are no longer working. 

According to a 2018 survey by the AARP, more than three-quarters of retirees wish to stay in their current home. For some retirees, it makes sense to stay in place. For others, it’s more logical to relocate somewhere else for personal and financial reasons. Here, we’ll provide you with three considerations to make as you prepare your home for retirement or start your search for a new one.

1) Treat Your House as a Financial Asset

A lot of homeowners tend to view their house as no more than a place where they live, sleep, and eat—a functional asset. Especially once they’re in retirement, they should also think about it as a financial asset. 

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Homeowners have equity, which is an essential part of their net worth. Once you’ve retired, you should consider how your equity affects your larger financial situation. For example, you can use equity to pay off any high-interest credit card debt that you have accumulated. This debt cleanup can be very beneficial as you begin to receive a fixed income. 

If you plan on having a big chunk of your mortgage left to pay once retirement rolls around, you’ll need to have a plan in place. You can refinance your home, try to get out of your ARM (adjusted-rate mortgage), or downsize to a smaller place. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every retiree. You’ll have to evaluate your situation and determine the best route to take. 

2) Address Those Home Repairs You’ve Been Putting Off

Most likely, you’ll want to spend your time in retirement with family, traveling, or trying out different hobbies. Don’t allow a leaky roof, unkempt landscape, or another issue to get in the way of you fully enjoying your work-free life. Address all these problems while you still have some flexible income. 

Some home repairs are more obvious than others. Before you retire, be thorough when you are addressing what parts of your home need a little TLC. 

For example, if your home has suffered from water damage, you need to complete the entire cleanup process from start to finish. According to AllDryUSA, which performs mold remediation in Miami, mold can cause severe health problems for children and the elderly with pre-existing conditions. 

Take the initiative and address these and other damages before you leave work for good. This way, you can make sure that you and your grandchildren can thoroughly enjoy your retirement home without any health or safety risks lingering around. 

3) Rightsize Where You Live

Some retirees get caught up with purchasing a big and extravagant retirement home to reward themselves for years of hard work. Before you buy that 6-bedroom beach house, consider if you would actually use it. Those who plan on traveling a lot won’t get their money’s worth.

You need to find a middle ground between your preferences and budget. Some retirees opt to live in a condo unit, as it offers them the exact amount of space they need. They often come with amenities like pools and clubhouses, and you won’t have to worry about paying for things like lawn maintenance. However, condos can come with some hefty HOA fees, so you’ll need to do some research and analyze your budget. 

The Bottom Line

The home you settle on in retirement is likely where you’ll live out the rest of your life. Before settling on a final decision regarding your housing during this exciting part of your life, make sure to analyze all the variables involved. From mortgage payments to how the place will serve you, you should leave no detail unaddressed.

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3 Considerations to Prepare Your Home for Retirement