Is Downsizing the Right Move?

10,000 Americans are turning 65 every single day. With big dreams of an active retirement lifestyle, today’s older adults have many choices with regard to housing. For many new retirees, the decision to downsize their home was made years ago. For others, their family home is their castle and they can’t imagine living anywhere else. One of the key findings in the Ageon Retirement Readiness Survey 2018, 70% of respondents say staying in their own home in retirement is either ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important to them.

Here’s a few things to consider in determining if aging in place is right for you:

Is your home’s expenses are eating up your retirement savings?

According to the Ageon Retirement Readiness Survey 2018, The median age for retirees in the US is 66, with an expected retirement lasting 20 years. If your home’s expenses are eating up 30% or more of your current monthly income, you may need to consider more affordable housing options that will help you stretch your retirement savings to allow for unexpected expenses in the years to come. Additionally, the potential to grow your savings by investing the equity from the sale of your home could help you finance retirement activities like travel, golf, and future healthcare needs.

Does your home fit your desired lifestyle?

Living options are abundant, and you may find that your current home can’t provide you with the lifestyle you want. For many older adults, downsizing isn’t the right word. They aren’t concerned about the square footage. It’s more about location, layout, and amenities. The word we like to use is “rightsizing”. Folks looking to “rightsize” may be thinking about lake homes, golf course homes, urban condos, or 55+ communities with a vibrant social atmosphere. Or maybe they want to forgo the responsibilities of home ownership and rent in a senior living community. Proximity to adult children and grandchildren is a compelling reason for many retirees to move. Whatever your desired lifestyle, the “right” home may be the key to enjoying your retirement years.

Case Study #1

Don and Judy are active retirees in their mid 70s. They built their home on 3 acres in 1976, pouring sweat and love into every feature. After a cancer diagnosis, Donrealized he could no longer manage caring for the 3 acres, and Judy longed to live closer to their daughter in Chicago. They were excited to find a 55+ community near their daughter, with single family homes, optional association-maintained yards (he wants to continue to mow his own lawn) and community amenities like social activities, fitness center with a pool, craft room, and wood shop. Judy is excited to meet new friends and be able to see their daughter more often while Don still gets to enjoy puttering around the house and community wood shop. There is peace of mind for them (and their daughter) in knowing that they are in a home that will accommodate their lifestyle for years to come.

Is your home suitable for your current and future mobility needs?

With many in-home care options, many seniors are opting to age in place. Aging in place is only realistic if your home can meet your mobility needs as you age. If your home is not suitable in its current configuration, is it feasible and affordable to modify your home to allow for your mobility needs? Will modifications negatively impact the value of your home?

Case Study #2

Mary recently lost her husband, George. In her mid 80s, she knew she could not maintain the large 2-story family home by herself. Her late husband was insistent that he remain at home as his mobility diminished. When he could no longer manage the stairs to their second floor master suite, they transformed their family room into a handicapped accessible master suite. The problem is, now that it’s time to sell, Mary learned these modifications significantly devalued the home. Today’s buyers don’t have a need for a 2-story home with 2 master suites and no family room. The cost to return the home to a traditional layout was more significant than it would have been had George been willing to move to a more suitable home, leaving Mary in financial difficulty.

Seniors Real Estate Specialists

John and Becky Durham are RE/MAX Results Broker/REALTOR team in Woodbury. They specialize in assisting seniors in their housing transitions. John and Becky understand the emotions and stress involved with making housing decisions for yourself or an aging loved one. John has a degree in home construction and can help you determine if aging in place is right for you. With his Aging in Place Assessment, he will evaluate various aspects of your home to help you make good decisions, including:

  • Home modifications necessary to ensure safety, self reliance, and self sufficiency;
  • Current market value of your home;
  • Return on investment if suggested modifications are made to your home;
  • Annual cost to remain in your home vs. transitioning to to Senior Living or other residence option.

Once you know your options and the potential costs and benefits, you can make better decisions.

Watch our video to learn more about downsizing in Woodbury, MN



Author Bio

Becky Durham, REALTOR® (651) 231-2192 of Durham Executive Group, a husband and wife real estate team with RE/MAX Results. Becky is a designated Seniors Real Estate Specialist® and Accredited Staging Professional®. Her husband John is a real estate BROKER and Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist®.They are Presenting Sponsors of Boomers and Seniors Expo.

Woodbury Boomers and Seniors Expo is the premier lifestyle, health, and active aging expo for baby boomers and seniors in the Twin Cities. Today’s 55+ community have a dynamic lifestyle and are pursuing ways to stay active and engaged.

Visit Durham Executive Group at Woodbury Boomers and Seniors Expo!

September 8th, 2018
HealthEast Sports Center (formerly Bielenberg Sports Center)
4125 Radio Dr., Woodbury, MN
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Connecting Baby Boomers, Seniors, and Caregivers with Local Resources and Services to Live Vibrantly!

Presented by Durham Executive Group

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