‘Downsizing’ Can Mean Many Different Things for Retirees

Seniors face many decisions about what downsizing can mean for them in retirement.
Seniors face many decisions about what downsizing can mean for them in retirement.
Photo credit: Ryhor via © Can Stock Photo, Inc.

The prospect of working your whole life and then retiring sounds so luxurious, in a way. It’s a time to travel, play golf, or do whatever you want, right? There are no deadlines to meet, no schedules to keep, no one to answer to. Of course, there are still bills; that’s inescapable. The mortgage, taxes, car payments, insurance; these don’t go away when you retire, and decisions must be made about how best to use the money you’ve spent your life saving for retirement.

Many seniors on the verge of retirement live in houses that are, in reality, a bit more house than they really need. This also means higher upkeep costs and possibly, higher property taxes. In a contribution to the Huffington Post by Wm. Scott Page, Page explores ways seniors can save more and spend less through downsizing.

First, in the most literal sense of the word “downsizing,” Page recommends retirees explore relocating to a smaller home. Living in a smaller house means reducing energy costs and costs associated with maintenance. Page also points out that relocating, not only to a smaller home, but to an area with lower property taxes, can do wonders to help seniors living on a fixed income make the most of their savings. Check out Forbes’ list of the top 25 cities to retire to in 2015, including three cities in Texas.

Page also takes a look at renting vs. buying, and house vs. condo, for those who are retiring and facing choices about where to live. Though renting can be a better option for those who don’t plan to stay in one place for very long, buying is a more stable option over the long haul, because you don’t have to worry about sudden rental increases. And, though condos may carry additional fees, many of the upkeep costs are covered, so it just depends whether you’d rather pay more upfront, or as things come up.

Finally, Page explores the rather new trend of micro-homes–homes that are typically as small as 100-400 sq. feet. The tiny home movement is more than just a relocation; it’s also a lifestyle change that encourages increased efficiency and less waste, and maybe retirement is the perfect time to consider something like that. Simplifying can be freeing, and that is what retirement should be all about!

Read more about Texas home loans and property values in Texas cities at lonestarfinancing.com.

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