July 12, 2019

What to Look for in a Home After Retirement

Filed under: Boomer,Real Estate,Retirement,Senior Housing,Taxes — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 10:27 am

Real Estate After RetirementCourtesy of Anita Ginsburg 

You’ve waited for what seems like a whole lifetime to retire. You’ve pinched your pennies and are now ready to enjoy this new chapter of your life. However, buying a new home after retirement isn’t the same as buying your first home. Depending on your financial situation, it can feel impossible to finance an investment this big at this point in your life.

To make the best decision for you and your budget, read on to learn about the most important points to consider when buying a home after retirement.

Location Matters

When it comes to real estate, there is one thing that everyone thinks about: location. People who are older need to carefully consider where they want to buy their retirement home. Although a sunny area may sound good on paper, it might not be your kind of paradise for the long-term. Consider important factors such as the climate, cost of living, crime rates and access to resources before you decide on a location.

Elderly people’s homes are often prime targets for break-ins, so you want to make sure that the security in your neighborhood is safe.

Also consider the average age of the members of your new neighborhood and if there is a strong senior citizen community that you’ll be able to take part in. Staying social after retirement is an important part of health and wellness, especially if you’re considering relocating to a new state or a new country. Make sure that you choose a destination that is as practical as it is alluring.

Pick a Home That’s Right for Aging

Purchasing a multi-level home is not ideal as you get on in years. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and accommodate your changing body over the next several decades. Amenities like a walk-in shower, easy wheelchair access and no staircases are all good criteria to consider. You may want to look for ranch-style homes that offer a wide layout with everything on the same floor.

You should also consider the size of the land you purchase. Having a small garden may be nice, but caring for excessive land can be a hassle, especially as you age. Ask yourself if the landscaping is something that you will be able to manage as you get older, or if the space will fall into disrepair or become too expensive to maintain.

Don’t Put All of Your Money into the House

Many financial planners highly recommend that you don’t pay for a new retirement home with cash. Instead, use your money for a down payment and take out a mortgage. Your retirement savings have to be evenly distributed, so you shouldn’t spend every penny you’ve saved over the course of decades to buy a house.

If your current home has equity, check whether or not you can apply that to the purchase of your retirement home. Discuss your options for payment with a real estate office in your desired location; offices have qualified, experienced agents whose job is to make sure you not only find your dream home but also get the best deal for your money.

Keep Taxes in Mind

Before even thinking of moving to a new location, you must consider how much you’re going to pay in taxes. Take a look at the sales tax, real estate tax and your retirement income before deciding on a new home. You should also consider how taxes after retirement will affect your life. Taxes taken from your pension, social security benefits and your 401k may be more than you imagined.

Draw up a retirement budget that takes taxes into consideration so you have a realistic perspective of how much you can afford for a retirement home and daily living.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of age, buying a new home is difficult. Working with a real estate agent will make the process much easier, especially if you’re moving to a brand new location. The home you choose to retire in will probably be where you live for the rest of your life, so don’t worry about rushing into the first decent property you see. Take your time, lay out your finances and consider a home that you can see yourself in for many years to come.

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July 11, 2019

Can Selling Your Home Lead to Early Retirement?

Filed under: Retirement Planning,Senior Housing — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 12:02 pm

Selling Home for RetirementCourtesy of Anica Oaks

The average retirement age in the U.S. is 62, but many Americans dream of retiring 10 or 20 years earlier than that. While early retirement is a dream, the pressing demands of reality and the cost of living make it too far-fetched for most. You may be on the brink of meeting your savings goal, and selling your house might be the final step you need to finally bid your days working a 9-to-5 goodbye.

If you’re contemplating selling your home for early retirement, here’s what you need to know.

Your Home’s Value Isn’t the Most Important Factor

Depending on how long you’ve lived in your house, you could wind up selling it for double or even triple its original closing cost. If your mortgage is paid off, then you’ll have even more money in your pocket to put toward retirement. However, there are a lot of other factors to consider when selling early, particularly real estate tax and buying a new property.

You will have to pay taxes on the home you sold; profits up to $250,000 are tax-free, and that figure doubles for couples who are married and filing a joint return. This could wind up putting your final amount down to a lot less than you expected, and you’ll have to use that money to put a down payment on your new home.

While having a valuable property is certainly an advantage as you approach retirement, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to retire earlier than planned.

The Cost of Living Can Change

If you want to sell real estate, you have to look at more than just the housing market. You must also consider the average cost of living, employment rates and the economy that will affect both you as a seller and potential buyers. This means that what you can afford to live off of now may not be enough in the future, especially if you decide to retire to a more expensive location.

The Final Verdict

Early retirement is possible, but it’s becoming less of a tangible reality for people as the cost of living in America continues to rise. While you can sell your house and put away a fair amount of money into your savings, you should carefully consider how much money you’ll need to sustain yourself throughout retirement before you make any major decisions.

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