Zooming to Retirement
The Retirement years are in sight! You are almost there, the kids are slowly moving out, you are thinking about how you wish to spend the next stage of your life. You are more focused on activities for you, whether that be a hobby, traveling or volunteer activities. Your needs start to change, whether that is the size of house, location where you wish to live and your needs /concerns about your financial future. One of those decisions is do you sell your family home and if so where do you wish to live. Although full retirement might still be several years off, moving to a more suitable and affordable residence today may be the best move for the long term. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating your future lifestyle and residence.
When deciding the pros and cons of staying in your present home, there are many issues to consider, one is the cost of the home. Long-term budget planning should take into account not only standard day-to-day expenses, but also the cost of home improvements/renovations, repairs or replacement of aging appliances or home heating/cooling systems. In addition, there are practical considerations such as the style of home and the possible physical or financial burden of property management in later years.
As you approach retirement you may prefer to free up some of the equity that has built up over the years in your present house. Many people use this equity to supplement their retirement savings, help their children with education costs or to purchase another home. Whatever the reason, it’s important to seek solid real estate and financial advice before making a decision.
Things to Consider before Choosing a New Residence for Retirement
Location of a new residence should encompass all you imagine for your future retirement lifestyle. You will finally have the time to participate in all the activities you’ve never managed to squeeze in before; therefore, it is important to take into account proximity to family, friends and the facilities that house your favourite recreational or social activities. This may include golf courses, church, recreational facilities, social clubs or the local theatre.
The other thing you need to consider if you are moving is access to medical support. Many locations across Canada have a lack of Doctors and waiting lists for a family physician.
You also need to consider what you need inside your new residence, you may desire an additional bedroom for visits from grandchildren or an easy-access bathroom with improved shower, bath and toilet for greater comfort in the future. In addition, wide, shallow steps and an easy front walk-up will be important inclusions for less limber bodies. Sufficient outdoor lighting is a necessity for home security and personal safety. Although you may be moving to a smaller residence overall, your personal space will likely be greater due to innovative designs created with the retirement lifestyle in mind, perhaps in the form of a dressing room, art studio or office.
Before making a decision to move out of town to a vacation home or any type of residence, imagine yourself living day-to-day further away from family and friends and try to explore potential ramifications of the increased distance. You may consider building a guestroom so that you can entertain friends and family on a regular basis, while still enjoying your quiet, country retreat.
Whether you choose to stay in the family home, build, move to a recreational property or condominium, consider the activities you currently enjoy and reflect on your evolving interests and the new priorities of your future.