Thursday, March 07, 2019 / by Jo Skipper
Should You Sell Your House to Downsize in Retirement?
Retirement can be an exciting time for many! This is often a time of reducing unwanted stress or clutter in ones life. Also, this is a time to reduce one’s financial liability. Often, seniors look to downsize the space they currently occupy or shrink their monthly mortgage amount. Is this the right move for you?
Your kids have long left the house and you are thinking that this is too much space for you. Maybe it is health reasons and present or future mobility issues are forcing this issue to the forefront. Is it time to put your home on the market?
The first thing to consider is the amount of money you will save on your mortgage. Many senior citizens and retirees are still paying a monthly mortgage. This is usually a large amount that could greatly benefit the livelihood should someone not have to pay this anymore. If you downsize your home you could pay off or dramatically decrease your monthly housing expense by downsizing this would be a large win for the inconvenience of moving. The amount of mortgage dollars saved is a benefit and also the utility and maintenance costs on your home will be lessened. A seller should consider all of these factors and the impact on their financial status if they choose to sell their home in later years. Another factor is the property tax cost. If you own a smaller home you should be paying less in property taxes as well. All of these items add up and could save large amounts of money.
Think of the location that would be most beneficial if you were to sell your home. In later years it is important to consider the best location to live. Think about in future years if you need to be close to family or a special medical facility. We often go to the doctors more as we age and being a long distance away from one is not best in the event of an emergency. Being close to family or ones we care about is an important factor to consider. Maybe someone in your family could use your assistance or vice versa. Also, think of areas where the cost of living is less. There are areas that have increasing expenses and there are other that are tax free havens for retirees LIKE SPOKANE!!!. If you decide to move from an expensive area with a high cost of living to a tax free state with a lower cost of living this will save a large sum of money.
Be sure consider all scenarios when you begin to think about selling your home. This decision could mean that your nest egg is able to carry you through to the end rather than running out early. Also, downsizing could help provide for a happier financial future than if you were to continue paying for a house that is no longer fully used. Once the proposed seller has considered all of the avenues, please take the time to discuss this with your accountant or retirement professional to ensure you are making the best decision.