Courtesy 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.