Unlike earlier generations of retirees who paid off their mortgages and retired in their family home, today’s Baby Boomers are looking to capitalize on home equity to enhance their retirement savings. If you’re thinking how relocating might stretch your retirement dollar, below are a few points you should consider before relocating, downsizing, or trading up:
- Speak with your spouse or partner first, even if you think you’re both of the same mind. Don’t assume that you’re in agreement. When the moment to make the leap comes, feelings may change.
- Consider the cost-of-living in a different part of the country. There’s a pretty big swing between rural Florida and urban San Francisco, for example. This might also mean factoring fuel costs if you’re moving into an area where you’re likely to spend more time driving.
- Consider whether your plans are realistic. For example, could you really live in a 1-bedroom condo after spreading out for years in your present 4-bed/3-bath?
- How much will the ease and pleasure of retirement depend on family and friends? What are the pros/cons of moving nearer/farther away? Conversely: Are there any detriments to moving closer to younger family members? (I.e. are you ready to open a free grandkid-sitting service?)
- Consider the potential impact of capital gains if you have substantial equity in your home— speak with a tax professional. This is especially true if you’re downshifting from ownership into a rental market.
Relocating to a more affordable area as well as to a smaller home is a strong strategy. But real estate values and property taxes can vary immensely by locale, even within the same state. Research thoroughly. Also, you want to spend significant time in the location to make sure its compatible with your lifestyle, pace, and interests.
If you’re thinking about relocating or know someone who would like to speak to a local agent about relocation plans, please pass along my information. I would be honored to serve your friends and family: