What’s at the top of your retirement expense checklist?
For most of us it’s housing. The first thing many retirees consider is reducing their budget by downsizing their home. This helps with more than just mortgage payments, taxes, maintenance, and insurance costs can also be reduced by moving to a smaller home. Medical and transportation costs probably compete for a close second. Again downsizing seems to be the rule of thumb, often by cutting back to one vehicle and shopping for an affordable supplement to Medicare.
In a culture where it’s common for us to spend our working years acquiring things, downsizing seems counter-intuitive. Many baby boomers who are close to retirement worry about giving up their quality of life. Here in Arizona we have an abundance of amazing options for retiring while retaining your lifestyle, Active Adult communities catering to all lifestyles and all price ranges. Massive golf and tennis communities, intimate neighborhoods within popular New Construction developments, with convenient shopping choices, pools and clubhouses, scheduled leisure activities and pick-up sports. The selection and variety of alternatives for personal enrichment are endless.
IMB Bank outlines a few suggestions for a more affordable but lateral lifestyle below, but I might add another to the list.
I’ve often thought that investing in a duplex would be a smart, not to mention more comfortable, way to downsize while still being able to choose the location that most appeals to you. Buying a duplex offers you the privacy of living in a single family home on a parcel of land that you own, plus a fantastic source of steady income in your retirement years.
Boomers Anxious About Housing Affordability
The road to retirement is supposed to lead toward a more relaxed, enriched phase of life. But these days, it seems to be fraught with anxiety.
According to a survey of 1,000 Americans aged 55+ from The NHP Foundation, a not-for-profit provider of affordable housing, 30 percent of Americans experience unease at least once a month about being able to afford where they live, with 42 percent of retirees reporting anxiety at least once daily. The greatest anxiety comes from being able to afford “desirable retirement living.”
Sixty-four percent of boomer parents also experience anxiety over their adult children’s ability to afford their rent or mortgage, with 43 percent most concerned about the next generation’s ability to save for retirement.
If housing affordability is a concern for you or your loved ones, here are some tips from IMB Bank to ease the burden:
- Consider becoming a “rentvestor”; purchase a home in a more affordable location as an investment and rent a smaller place for yourself in your ideal location.
- Consider buying an apartment. Not only will this most likely be more affordable, it may allow you to live in the area you most desire.
- Consider buying a home with another family member or close friend, or converting part of your existing home into rental space.
- Consider a fixer-upper and plan to affordably space out remodeling projects over time.
By rethinking your approach to housing, not only will you uncover ways to make your living situation more affordable, but you will also gain a much-needed level of peace of mind.
Contact me today for more tips to help ease the anxiety associated with housing affordability.