Changing Retirement Home Trends — and What They Can Mean for You

Start Planning Early

We all know that if we want the live in the home of your dreams at retirement, it’s essential to start retirement planning early.  But in many cases retirement goals and plans have changed since earlier generations, and so it’s important to think through what kind of retirement you’re actually planning for.

Former Retirement Trends

It used to be that, as soon as the kids were gone and the nest was empty, our parents traded in the larger family home for a smaller, cheaper condo in a warm-weather location like Florida or Arizona.  They would then use the difference to see them through their retirement years.  Some baby-boomers are clearly following that trend, but many are not.

Other Retirement Choices and What They Mean for You

There has been a marked increase in boomers who are planning to buy a nicer home, invest in a second home, or renovate their current home with some luxury comforts.

What does this mean?  Well, for starters, it may mean that you’ll need to plan for home expenses to take up a bigger chunk of your retirement income each month.  This requires greater savings than our parents often required.  It requires more intentional planning. And the earlier you start your retirement planning, the greater your choices for how you’d like to live when you retire.

One smart way to plan is to first consider the daily retirement lifestyle you’d like to have before deciding on what kind of home you’d like. A pros and cons list of your current living situation can also help clarify your goals. It’s important here to make sure you’re not just considering financial considerations, but personal lifestyle goals as well, since a healthy balance between both can ensure a happy, peaceful retirement.

Here is just a brief list of questions you (and your spouse or partner) should consider when it comes to lifestyle choices at retirement:

  • What kind of climate would you prefer to retire in?
  • What kind of environment would you like — the city, the suburbs, the country, a retirement community?
  • How important is your proximity to children, grandchildren, friends, and other loved ones?
  • Is it important to have room for overnight guests or long-term stays (i.e. aging parents)?
  • What kind of amenities do you want to have close-by?
  • How close do you need to live to medical facilities and community facilities, such as the library?
  • Do you need access to buses, airports, etc?
  • What kind of recreational activities would you like to have close-by?

For your finances, it’s important to consider:

  • Mortgage or rent payments, and how much you’re willing to pay in retirement
  • How much equity you have in your current home
  • Potential association, condominium, or other community related fees
  • Keeping up your intended property, from housekeeping to mowing the lawn to shoveling snow to replacing the roof
  • Utilities
  • Home improvements to accommodate your future physical needs and limitations
  • Property taxes

If you’re currently looking to retire in the Pacific Northwest, Susan Stecher and her team of real estate professionals are ready and waiting to answer any questions you have, as well as provide helpful tools for planning the Pacific Northwest retirement of your dreams. Call (360) 319-4939 or toll-free (888) 319-4939 to talk to Susan today!

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