As boomers near retirement, it’s a fact that many will seek out a change in housing. According to a 2014 study from the Demand Institute, 37% of boomers plan to move, while 63% plan to stay in their current home. Finances may be part of the reason for the move, as some boomers want to reduce their overall housing expense, and pay off their mortgage. Other boomers want a home that better fits their lifestyle, perhaps offering single level living, or less maintenance. Still others want a larger dream home to accommodate their kids and grandkids. Moving is an important decision that requires careful consideration.
Location, Location, Location
Once you decide to move, the question becomes: where to? Being near family and friends is often a key consideration. However, you if you want to adventure to the location of your dreams, you might want to spend an extended time there before buying a home and putting down roots. Urban, suburban and rural are other choices you’ll have to make. Keep in mind that being close to good hospitals and doctors may be more important as you age. Access to transportation is another important consideration. Your interests can be a driving factor. Do you seek solitude and privacy, or restaurants and cultural events?
House vs. Condo
By age 65 many are ready to give up their lawnmowers and garden tools in exchange for more free time. However with that tradeoff comes shared walls and maintenance budgets you can’t necessarily control. Dog owners need to consider if they are willing to forego the convenience of just letting FIDO out in the backyard for a swanky new condo with a great view.
Square Footage Decisions
Downsizing square footage means you will have to part with some of your possessions. While some are happy to do so, others find it challenging. It’s not usually just your stuff, but that of your spouse, sons, daughters and even deceased parents to consider. Finding a good home for things you value can be a challenge. While it can be difficult to pare down, think about the $100-$200 a square foot it will cost for the space to store your stuff. Add in the property taxes and ask yourself again, it is worth it? Functionality is important as well. The space needs to work for you and your family. If you are working at home, you need space to do that. If you don’t want your husband’s collectibles in your living room, you might need to be sure your new home has a man cave.
Your income in retirement is likely to be less than what you are used to. Know your budget and spend accordingly on your next home. Anticipate increases in taxes over the years, as well as increased expenditures on travel, medical or special events, such as a wedding. Health costs typically increase as you age.
Evaluate Your Belongings
Evaluating what stays and goes may not be as difficult as you think. Ask yourself questions to help you make those decisions. Have I used it in the past year? Does it make me feel good? Did I forget I even had it? Read our post 11 Reasons Why You Don’t Need it Anymore. You accumulate a lot of stuff over the years and the thought of going through it all is daunting. Start early and take one space at a time to make the process more manageable. If you have difficulty letting go, remember you can find help through a professional organizer.
Imagine Your New Life
Moving is exciting but stressful. You have a lot on the line both emotionally and financially. Take time to consider everything about your new life. When you have done your homework and examined all the options, you’re more likely to make a decision you can live with for a long time. Move management services make the process so much easier.