Surveys have found that the vast majority of retirees want to remain in their homes for the long haul. After all, it’s hard to beat the security and comfort of a familiar place. That said, even if you no longer have a mortgage, you may find that downsizing to a smaller home or even moving to another town is a more practical option. Answering the following questions can help you decide.
- Could I save money by moving? Owning a large home in a good school district can cost a bundle. But smaller isn’t necessarily cheaper: many condos have high carrying costs that could exceed what you’re paying now.
- What happens as I age? You may be healthy now, but you’ll probably have to remodel to accommodate physical changes as you age. You may need to widen doorways for a walker, for example, or even put in an elevator or lift. One increasingly popular option is a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), which allows you to move seamlessly between independent living, assisted care and a nursing home.
- Where else might I want to live? Moving closer or even into a big city is an increasingly popular option for retirees, and you can potentially save a bundle on transportation costs. Others may crave more time at the beach or countryside. Whatever you’re leaning towards, don't pick up and move without giving a new town a trial run. Rent a place for a few months to make sure you get a true sense of what the community is like. Money's list of best places to retire can help you weigh the plusses and minuses of various locales.