Where you live is always a big decision to make, but it’s especially important in retirement. Some retirees are perfectly happy to remain in the home they’ve had for years, but some find that without their regular income, or with the kids out of the house, retirement is a good time to downsize. Finding a smaller home that more fits your needs in your retirement years can be a smart move, but it’s not for everyone. Before you make any decision about where you’ll be spending your retirement years, consider these important questions.
Where do I want to live?
A fairly simple question but the first one you should ask yourself. What would be your ideal hometown in retirement? Do you want to stay put in your current town, or do you want a change of scenery? Do you want the quiet life in a small town, or the excitement of the big city? This doesn’t mean that you’ll get want you want but knowing what you want is a good jumping off point.
What can I afford?
Of course, this is the big question. Downsizing your home is often done as a financial move but just because you’re switching to a smaller home doesn’t mean you won’t have to worry about money. Consider your financial situation and what it will look like after the downsizing. You might be surprised to learn you can’t afford that apartment in the city, or that you’ll have to go even smaller than you’d thought. Seek out financial help to get the best idea, then consider if this is still a path you want to go down.
What do I need in a new home?
While preferences like where you live might be out of your control, it is important that before downsizing you consider what would be a deal breaker. It might should silly, but if there’s things that you feel you need in a home, you shouldn’t have to compromise. Whether it be a home office or master bathroom. It could even be something you want to live in proximity to like a hospital or movie theatre. Come up with a list of deal breakers and make sure you’re happy with whatever future home you choose.
What does my future look like?
Downsizing may seem like the right move at the time, but in 10 years will you be happy about the decision? A good way of determining if this is the right choice for you is by considering what your life will be like in the near future. Does your ideal lifestyle, family life and work life coincide nicely with your downsizing plans? Will you still be happy in a home of that size? Consider these questions and get a better sense of your future.