Downsizing your home in retirement
As your life evolves, your needs change. That's especially true of your housing situation when you transition into retirement.
If you're an empty nester or nearing retirement, you may be rethinking your housing situation. Maybe your single-family home is requiring more maintenance that you’re not enthusiastic about completing. Perhaps you'd like to move to a warmer climate. Or maybe living closer to your grandchildren is a priority.
Whatever your reason, when thinking about downsizing your home for retirement, you’ll want to account for your lifestyle. Here’s what to consider when evaluating your options and formulating a retirement downsizing strategy:
Questions to ask when considering downsizing your home
- Upkeep: Do you want to continue with home maintenance chores and expenses? Can you afford to hire help? Will you have to rely on friends and family?
- Proximity: How close do you want to live to family and friends? To public transportation? To shopping and social life?
- Practicality: Will you be able to renovate your home as your physical needs change?
- Personality: Do you adjust to change and make friends easily?
- Family preferences: How does your spouse feel about moving or staying at home? Your family?
What retirement housing options do you have?
Stay in the family home.
If you're physically independent and willing to do the upkeep, you'll probably be happy with this option. You might also consider remodeling your home to reflect your changing lifestyle and needs.
Go with a smaller home, condo, or townhouse.
Downsizing your home and moving into a smaller space in retirement will likely be less expensive and more manageable. With a condo or townhome, most of the outdoor maintenance chores are done for you.
Move closer to or move in with your children.
This option requires an important discussion with your kids about the emotional and practical implications this move could have on you and your loved ones. Ask yourself:
- Are you physically and financially independent?
- Will you feel like you’re in the way?
- How will other family members feel?
Other retirement housing possibilities.
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) are an increasingly popular option. CCRCs and/or assisted-living facilities rent rooms or apartments and offer as many or as few "extras" as you care to choose — housekeeping services, meals, social activities, transportation. Some also offer degrees of physical assistance if you require it.
Other financial considerations when downsizing your home
Before you make any major decisions regarding your retirement downsizing strategy, talk to a financial advisor about how changing your housing might affect your financial situation and your retirement, now and in the future.
- Real estate implications: How will a sale/purchase of a home impact your retirement income or financial goals?
- Health care costs: How much will health care cost in retirement?
- Retirement income strategy: Where do you anticipate most of your retirement income coming from and will your money last? Do you know what a safe withdrawal rate is?
Plan for the retirement lifestyle you want
An Ameriprise financial advisor can help you evaluate your options as you prepare for retirement, including downsizing your home.
Or, request an appointment online to speak with an advisor.
At Ameriprise, the financial advice we give each of our clients is personalized, based on your goals and no one else's.
If you know someone who could benefit from a conversation, please refer me.
Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.