Retirement Panning: Should I Sell My Home When I Retire?

Quote – “In many cases, it makes financial sense for retirees to downsize, as it eliminates maintenance costs and higher rent or mortgage payments. That’s a big plus for retirees who are now relying on their retirement assets to support their spending” – Matt Cosgriff ,CFP.

Key Takeaways

·      After retirement, downsizing to a smaller home can have its advantages, such as addressing mobility issues – smaller and fewer steps are always better.

·      Strong non-financial reasons, such as the sense of a family inherent home or the potential loss of friends and family relationships. Nothing wrong with that, providing the financial resources are there.

·      Renting out your home could prove a viable alternative to selling.

One of the most frequently asked questions regarding retirement planning is – “When is the best time to sell, before or after your loved one makes the move?”

What is the most ideal solution for older adults? We have broken down the pros and cons of selling before and after a move for you to consider.

Before the Move

Pro: Access to Funds

·      The single greatest asset an older adult has is their home, by selling before the move it may help free up money to finance senior living as proceeds are used to pay for expenses.

Con: A Potentially Cluttered House

·      Seniors, having lived in their homes for many years, have often acquired a lot of things. Showing a home which might be cluttered will potentially create a disservice for you and leave a negative first impression when trying to sell.

Con: Disrupting Schedules

·      Trying to keep your home “show-ready” and clean could prove equally as difficult as finding a place for the senior to go during times the house is being shown. As most potential buyers would prefer to visit either early morning or later in the evening, due to work obligations, these times can be inconvenient for seniors.

After the Move

Pro: Ideal for Stages

·      Working with a “clean slate” could potentially work in your favor as home buyers are able to visualize and conceptualize their move a lot better.

Con: Additional Costs

·      Keep in mind the added expenses, utility bills or mortgage payments if your senior loved one’s home doesn’t sell as quickly as expected. Making sure your potential buyers can see your home in its best light (no pun intended!) makes it essential that you keep the lights and water on.

Pro: Less Stress

·      Selling after the move can help alleviate any unnecessary stress and anxiety and allows more time for packing and moving, which will allow your loved one to undergo an easier transition in downsizing.

The Best Choice for YOU

Moving, downsizing and saying goodbye to a family home is never easy. However, the best way to manage and help with the anxiety is to ultimately do what feels right for you and your family. It might also be useful to consult with a senior-friendly realtor to help you make a more informed decision.  

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