Does Your Current Home Fit Your Retirement Needs?

As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic.

You may be more than ready to retire, but what about your home? If you hope to age in your current home it makes sense to prepare for the challenges that aging is likely to bring.

The environment in which you live will be an essential ingredient to your retirement safety and happiness. Here are a few areas you may want to consider as you prepare:

  • How’s the temperature? As we get older, we tend to get increasingly sensitive to temperature changes. As we spend more time inside, a little thing like too much cold or heat can quickly become annoying. In retirement, why shouldn’t you be warm when you want or cool as you wish?
  • Is your bedroom where it should be? Having your master bedroom upstairs may be fine when your knees are young. But as you move deeper into your retirement years, stairs are no longer your friend. A downstairs bedroom suite might be more ideal.
  • Is your home secure? At any age and stage in life, security provides peace of mind. A well-publicized alarm system with generously distributed signs and stickers lets potential criminals know ahead of time the area is protected.
  • Does your neighborhood fit your interests and needs? It’s helpful to be near the places you frequent, especially as you age. A short drive or walk to the grocery store, restaurants and nearby parks can make your location ideal.
  • Is your home efficiently designed? Cabinets should not be so high that they require stepping on a stool to reach. Drawers should not be so deep you have to bend down to see what’s in them. Counter tops should not be too high or too low. Appliances that are set up based upon how you personally cook and navigate can be a big plus. Good lighting is a plus as well.
  • Will it be easy to maintain? As we age, certain chores like cleaning the gutters or trimming trees become a hassle. A condominium with low-maintenance needs or HOA that handles those tasks could become a lifesaver.
  • What about mobility? No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the layout of your home should be able to accommodate limited mobility. People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Having to install handrails and make sure that your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.
  • Do you have equity in your current home? If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.

These just a few things to consider when thinking of your home and how it fits your retirement needs. When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house and its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement.

If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, give us a call. We will evaluate your ability to sell your home and get you into your dream retirement home!

–Jay

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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the Chattanooga Metro Area area.

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