Entering Retirement? Do you sell the house and buy a condo?

The decision to sell your home once you retire is commonly influenced by a number of factors including physical, emotional and of course financial. This month’s Blog will, I hope, help you consider some of the benefits.

 

With all things being equal, it's usually easier for a younger adult to stay fit and maintain the rigors of looking after a house and its real property. As we get older, and we all are, our metabolism typically slows down. Many baby-boomers have realized these changes and are doing something about them.

Even at my age, (51) I can feel it coming. Years ago, I could eat anything I wanted… all day long. Suddenly I’m finding that the weight starts to accumulate around my mid-section, and tasks that were once easy are becoming a bit more difficult...I’m not as flexible anymore. Declining physical strength, the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle, and general frailty will NOT become a part of my normal aging process...at least I hope not.

From a strictly financial perspective, if you find that your pension plan or any other form of retirement income doesn't quite meet your expenses, you obviously have a dilemma. The decision to sell your home is most often made in order to generate cash. This provides a capital base from which to invest and generate more income. By selling your home, you also simplify things. Eliminating many household chores and routine maintenance, who really wants to shovel snow or cut grass anyway at our age? No more cleaning out eavestrouphs or washing windows either...and any unexpected expenses are also eliminated.

Once you decide to simplify your lifestyle, then the fun begins. Your new lifestyle after selling your home will now be filled with choices. Would it be more convenient to live in a smaller place such as a condo? Or a place that's closer to certain facilities, friends, family, or activity centers you plan to use regularly.

With a condo for instance, there is always someone to take care of these things as soon as they go wrong, with no surprise bills to pay. Condos also offer personal safety – knowing that the condo building is patrolled and monitored 24 hours a day allows for peace of mind.

When it comes to getting back that physical strength, most buildings offer fitness   programs in state-of-the-art work out facilities or indoor pools – no need to spend additional money on memberships because the monthly condo fees cover all the amenities! And an additional like is the heated underground parking...never again will you have to scrape your car windows in February.

What about your retired lifestyle? How much traveling are you planning to do? If you're spending your time traveling, your home will be empty while you're away. Do you have a cottage where you plan to spend most of your retirement years? A house that stays vacant may be prone to burglaries or vandal damage. Plus maintenance and upkeep are still required. But in a condo, you simply lock the door and walk away.

Now, the affordability and convenience of a condo does seem to make a lot more sense...doesn’t it? The decision is now yours. I hope I’ve given you something to think about. Does it make sense to sell and downsize? If you’d like to sit down and discuss some options, I welcome your call.

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