Retirement can be one of the most transformative experiences a person will have. Think about it: From the age of 5 we’re in school, and once we’re done school, we work until we’re retired. When retirement hits, we finally have years ahead of us with no daily obligations.
This can be tremendously exciting. Retirement can also be stressful. It changes our lives – and our homes are, of course, a tremendously important part of our lives. That’s why we’ve created this guide to how retirement can change what you need in a home.
We’ve specifically tailored this guide to people living in Edmonton, but a lot of the information contained here is broad and can be used by anyone who is planning their retirement. Let’s dive in.
Your finances change
One of the most obvious consequences of retirement is a dramatic shift in your income. How dramatic this shift is will depend on how much you’ve saved for retirement, as well as other factors, including the amount you’ll get from CPP and the assets you own.
Your house is one of your most valuable assets, and selling it can help you maintain your lifestyle during retirement. Many people buy their houses when they’re in their 20s or 30s. By the time retirement age comes around, they’ve accumulated a lot of equity in their home or paid off their mortgage outright.
For these people, selling a home can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars toward retired life. And many people will downsize after retiring – a topic we’ll discuss later in this article. Even after selling your home and buying a new one, you might find yourself with a very large nest egg you can draw on for extra income.
Other people may find that their mortgage payments are overwhelming once they’ve retired – retirement income is almost always lower than working income. In these cases, selling your house can relieve a tremendous financial burden.
We’re only touching on the complexities of post-retirement finances here, but know that if you’re looking to sell your house hassle-free to improve your finances, Solution Home Buyers can help.
It’s more important to be close to people
Before you retire, living in the suburbs or in a semi-rural or rural environment can be relaxing. After you retire, however, social dynamics can shift pretty quickly. You’re no longer seeing co-workers on a daily basis. You’ll be looking for ways to spend your days – being close to amenities and living in a tightly-knit communal space can help.
For some people, retirement communities are the way to go. For others, it’s as simple as moving from somewhere like Sherwood Park or Spruce Grove into Edmonton proper. Big cities have more amenities, and that can give you more to do.
Another reality of retirement is that as we age, it can be harder to get around. Driving can become more difficult if vision fades or other health problems develop. Being centrally located, close to friends and family, and near a lot of amenities can help decrease these problems.
Of course, many retired people enjoy driving, biking, running, or any other number of ways to get around. Nonetheless, it’s best to hope for the best but to plan for the unforeseen.
You may need less space
Many retirees purchase their homes when they start a family. Your home may have several bedrooms for children who have long since grown up and moved out.
Larger houses can be a burden. They take more time to clean up, and they need more maintenance. Most importantly, most people don’t need that much space. They may be living in their homes because they work close to where they live or because there simply hasn’t been a reason to sell.
That’s why many people opt to downsize when they retire. Some people buy new, smaller homes, while others opt to rent. Whatever options work best for you, our Edmonton home buyers can help you sell your house quickly and move to one more suitable to your living needs.
Accessibility may become important
You’ve probably heard of aging in place – it’s the notion that by modifying your house, you can continue to live there even if age-related health problems make mobility difficult. There are some houses where aging in place is viable – but accessibility is about more than just getting around in your home.
Accessibility is also about community. You want to live in an age-friendly community with helpful neighbours and amenities that are easy to access. You’ll also want to live in a walkable neighbourhood, in case driving becomes difficult.
Aging in place is also easier in some places than others. Do you have a spiral staircase leading to your second floor? You may find it difficult to modify in a way that makes it easy to climb. It’s best to age in place in a house that’s already easy to navigate – places with only one floor are a good example of this.
You may be able to buy your dream home
When you bought your home, you might have been considering a lot of different factors. How close were you to schools? How close were you to work? Did the home have enough space to fit your whole family?
One of the joys of retirement is that you’ll be free from many, if not all, of the obligations that guided you to your first home. With those considerations out of the way, you only have to keep one thing in mind: What kind of home do you really want?
Have you always wanted a big garden? A fireplace? A spot that’s within walking distance from your best friend’s house? You can hunt for a house with all the things you want – because there are fewer things you need.
And if you’re downsizing, you’ll be saving money because you’ll need fewer square feet. That means you’ll have more money available for the amenities you really want – even if they’re not strictly necessary.
Solution Home Buyers has been helping people just like you to sell their homes quickly and efficiently, with no commissions or unexpected fees. You can use that money to move to your new, perfect home. And we’re flexible on closing dates – you can find the place you want to live, make a deal with us, and move at your own pace.
Enjoy retired life!