Where Should I Live in Retirement?
Deciding where to live in retirement: Budget and lifestyle matter
When retirement approaches, many people anticipate big changes. For some, that means finally having the time to travel and/or see family, volunteering or taking up a new hobby or interest. But it may also spark the desire to relocate after retirement offering a fresh start in a new home that better fits your changing needs.
According to a survey conducted by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, older Americans are less worried about their home-related finances and more excited by the new opportunities retirement brings. While 2/3 of retirees say they’re living in the best home of their lives, the rest are wondering if they should stay put or move on to buying a house in retirement.
Before you start interviewing listing agents, think about the impact that a new location could have on your lifestyle, finances, family and well-being. Is it time to move, or have you been living in your dream home all along?
- Priorities. What’s the most important factor in your decision to move (or not)? Is it price, weather, proximity to friends and family, or access to familiar healthcare providers? Narrowing down what’s most important is the first step in deciding where you want to live in retirement.
- Cost of living. Think about how you want to spend your time and how much those activities cost. If you’re already living in an expensive area, can you still do the things you love on a retirement income? If not, a reverse mortgage may offer additional funds for you allowing you to relocate after retirement.
- Home-related expenses. Homeowners aged 65 and over spend an average of $6,235 on their homes every year — not including mortgage payments. Expenses that seem small — like insurance, maintenance and repairs — can quickly add up. If you’re entering retirement while still carrying mortgage debt, think about how your total household costs will factor into your retirement budget.
- Home size. Smaller square footage often means less money spent to heat and cool off, and less space to maintain. On the flip side, you may want extra bedrooms for family to visit or to finally build that home library you’ve dreamed of.
- Home modifications. Does the perfect home exist anywhere? Do you need to make renovations so that your current home better suits you? The longer you can live safely in your home, the less you’ll need to worry about paying for any type of assisted living care.
- Long-term care. It’s impossible to predict if you’ll need long-term care in the future. But the cost can be a key risk to your retirement savings. Would buying a house in retirement affect your ability to pay for such an expense?
Making moves to financial stability
Where you choose to live in retirement can have a huge effect on your financial plan. The good news is a reverse mortgage loan may help alleviate some of your financial concerns if you decide to buy a house in retirement.
Designed for homeowners age 62 and older, a reverse mortgage allows you to access the equity built up in your home, all while continuing to live in it and retain ownership. In contrast to a traditional mortgage, you can choose to make monthly payments or none at all, as long as you keep current with your loan obligations, which include maintaining the property and keeping current with property-related taxes and insurance payments.
If you are looking for a new home, a reverse mortgage for purchase may be the answer. It allows homeowners 62+ to buy a new home by combining a one-time investment of your own funds (down payment) with loan proceeds from a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) to complete the transaction. You own the home as long as you live in it. The loan does not have to be repaid until you sell the home or no longer live there as your primary residence. In order for the loan to remain in good standing, you must meet certain home ownership obligations — which include maintaining the property and keeping current with property-related taxes and insurance payments.
Intrigued by the possibilities? Reach out to Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF) at (888) 277-1567 to learn more from a local loan specialist in your area.
This content is sponsored by RMF, one of the nation’s leading reverse mortgage lenders. We are dedicated to helping older Americans retire more freely, in the comfort of their own homes. As a result of our commitment to providing an extraordinary and positive customer experience, we have earned a 98% customer satisfaction rating; a 4.8-star / Excellent score on Trustpilot; 4.8 out of 5 stars on LendingTree; and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 888-277-1567 to speak with a licensed reverse mortgage specialist to learn about our retirement financing products and solutions.
SEE WHAT FUNDS YOU MAY HAVE AVAILABLE
If you have equity in your home and believe you meet the eligibility requirements, a HECM may be the option that could help you retire smart.