Kathy Kelley's Blog
Buying a retirement home is a big decision. And doing so before you retire is a smart decision. However, you’re also in a completely different place than you will be when you’re retired or as you age. You don’t know what the future holds. It’s easy to take our mobility for granted until we lost it. There are a few things you should look for in a home to plan for the future and whatever it may hold.
Many empty-nesters look to downsize when buying their next home. And this very well might be the perfect option for you. But first, consider how often and how many guests you may want to have over at a time. Will you host holiday dinners or want to have room for grandchildren to stay for the night? If you have a large family or one that is growing many couples find they want the room to host dinners or have a pull-out couch.
You’ll also want to plan ahead for the future when choosing the size and layout of your new home. Even if you downsize it’s wise to put wide hallways and a single floor plan on your wishlist as you house hunt. If either of you has mobility limitations in the future you’ll be glad to have such an accessible home.
The lower your monthly payments on your new mortgage, the better. But more ideally you’ll want to consider homes in a price range that allow you to pay in full. Again, keeping retirement in mind keeping bills to a minimum so that either one of you can cover all costs on one sole income could save you from hardship down the line. Retirement is very different from what it used to be, often many people find themselves needing to take on part-time work to get by. Keeping expenses well below your monthly income can help to ensure you can spend your retirement years enjoying life in the way you want to.
In general, when planning retirement it’s best to live below your means. Not only do you want to account for inflation costs but also for any unexpected large expenses that could crop up such as home repairs, emergency care, or car maintenance. Having an idea of what your future budget will be as well as your current one will help you make the best decisions for the years ahead now.
Buying a retirement home can save you money in the long run on bills like heating and electric. However, house hunting for the perfect home entails a lot more decisions that many couples realize. Remember to plan for your life both now and later when putting together your must have features for your new home.