Deciding whether or not to downsize your family home can be difficult. However, delaying too long could leave you with too much house or expenses to manage – especially if you’re nearing retirement. According to a Merrill Lynch survey of retirees aged 50 and over, 51% of those who had moved since retiring opted for a smaller home. According to Bankrate, here are a few signs it may be time to consider downsizing your home:
1. You can’t keep up with maintenance
While you may have been able to keep with a larger home a decade or two ago, the ongoing upkeep both inside and outside the house can leave exhausted as you reach your later years. If you are struggling to keep up the maintenance your home requires, it might be time to consider a smaller option.
2. Your monthly housing payments exceed 30%
While your mortgage payments may have fit comfortably in your budget while you were still in the workforce, many people find it isn’t so comfortable after retiring. Since retirement reduces your income and housing expenses continue to rise, downsizing usually makes sense if you pay more than 30% of your monthly budget to your housing.
3. Your home no longer fits your lifestyle
Sometimes owning a larger house no longer makes sense with your lifestyle as you age. For example, you may have a couple of empty bedrooms you never use since your kids moved out. Or perhaps you or your spouse have limited mobility and can no longer get up and down the stairs. If getting around is a struggle or you feel like you’re wasting space, a smaller property can make daily life more comfortable.
4. You want to save money
Moving into a smaller residence or retirement community can significantly cut down your mortgage, utility bills, taxes, insurance payments and allow you to save more money for a rainy day. If your current home is already a financial burden, a downsize to a smaller house can be a smart financial move.
It’s never easy to part ways with a place you’ve called home – especially if you’ve lived there for decades. However, if staying in your house becomes more of a financial burden than not, downsizing may be the right choice for you.