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Retirement Funding Insights

Renting vs. Owning in Retirement

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For many people, buying a home fulfills a dream that's tied to important personal, professional, and financial goals. The feeling that they would be abandoning that dream can be a big reason why homeowners resist the idea of downsizing and renting in retirement. But as you age, owning can create a series of challenges that might affect the Return on Life you're getting from your home. Here are some of the reasons why renting might be an attractive solution. 

1. Pad your nest egg. 

While the housing market has improved in early 2024, new housing starts (i.e. construction) are still at multidecade lows. Folks who have homes are largely staying put because of high interest rates. That's driving up demand among people who are willing to make higher mortgage payments to move. Add all these factors up and your house is probably a very valuable asset right now. You could use proceeds from a sale to top off your savings and investment accounts. Or a sale could finance a big move to a beachfront condo or an apartment that's closer to your grandkids. 

Speaking of your heirs, downsizing doesn't mean you have to sell. If your home is part of your legacy plan, you could start that transition now and rent to your kids or grandkids. You'll earn a little extra income, and you'll get to enjoy seeing your family and the family home begin a new chapter. 

2. Give yourself a break. 

Have your knees had enough of going up and down the stairs?

Are fixit projects piling up faster than you can tackle them?

Is fiddling with your appliances to get them to work a chore in and of itself?

As you age, you might find that keeping up your house in retirement has become its own job. You also might start having a little trouble getting around, which could turn that creaky step or loose handle into potential hazards. 

When you rent a home, you get to retire from being a landlord and handyman. And if you move closer to loved ones, or into a retirement community, you'll also be around people who can help you with household tasks so that a trip to the laundry room doesn't lead to a trip to the emergency room. 

3. Make new connections. 

Now that your kids have started their own families, your house might feel a little too big and much too empty. Senior living rental properties often foster a sense of community that helps folks meet new people and explore new activities. 

Or, if you spent most of your career living out in the suburbs, renting could give you an opportunity to try city living. Your new downtown condo could put you within walking distance of theatres, museums, athletic clubs, restaurants, and senior centers. 

You could also move somewhere that will help you enjoy one of the most meaningful retirement experiences: being a grandparent. Instead of seeing social media clips of dance recitals and baseball games, you'll have a front row seat. 

4. Take a new adventure.

And what happens if you decide your new home isn't for you?

Next year, live somewhere else!

As a retired renter, you're only tied down to the terms of your lease. Turn your retirement into a multiyear tour of places you've always wanted to visit. Rather than organizing your life around where you live, you could change your place of residence to suit your evolving interests, relationships, and financial goals. 

How would you rate the Return on Life you're getting from your home? Are you thinking about moving in retirement? Make an appointment and let's review your ROL Index to identify areas where we can help you get more from your money. 

Between industry news and personal experience.