The freedom of growing old in your family home is ideal, but once retirement approaches, sometimes downsizing is the best option—both financially and for your mobility. Moving from an expensive city to a small town will also unlock a lot of equity that could fund your retirement plans. Here’s what you should consider before making any big decisions.
Where are you moving?
If you live in the city, you may be considering a move to cottage country. But if you’ve always been a city person, will you enjoy living somewhere smaller? Make sure you love the community, lifestyle, weather and neighbourhood you are planning to move to before you make the move.
Is it financially worth it?
Most assume that downsizing will reap the best financial return for retirement, but that isn’t always the case. Crunch the numbers first to ensure you will receive a true financial benefit before making any decisions. Factoring in condo fees, tax differences, decorating and any potential maintenance or repairs to get an accurate estimate of how much you will truly be saving.
Think about mobility needs.
If you currently live in a home with many stairs, moving to a bungalow or a condo might be worth considering. Mobility can be a big hurdle with age and staying in a home that requires you to go up and down stairs all day may prove to be a challenge. Many downsizers choose to avoid townhouses for this reason.
Proximity to healthcare and family.
While moving somewhere remote might sound like the life you’ve always dreamed of, does it actually make sense to be far away from all local amenities? Do you want to be far away from a hospital in time of crisis? Will you miss being near family? Will you still be able to drive long distances as you get older?