The Finance Blogger


Seniors – Sell, Rent or Stay

Seniors Sell Rent or StayMany seniors are in a dilemma these days about what to do! Should they stay in the home they have raised their kids in  and were they have many great memories of family life? Or should they sell their home and move into another place, that perhaps is on one level so there are no stairs to climb and costs less to maintain and operate? Or should they rent a place until they figure out what to do? These are just some of the questions many people are asking themselves and the answers are probably different for everyone depending on their personal situation, their finances and their health? We will try to explore some of these issues in this latest post.

Seniors Sell Rent or Stay

Staying in Your Home

By far the majority of seniors want to stay in the home that they have spent raising their families and the home that has great memories. A few will move, because their spouse has passed away and others because of bad neighbors etc. Familiarity is the key here and the older we get the less we want to deal with change. We like things to be the same and routine, which may sound boring, but that is just the way it is. Also it takes a lot of work to move , it is expensive and you probably have to throw a lot of stuff out that also has fond memories.

However there are some issues that you must be able to deal with if you are going to stay were you are. Maintenance on your home is one item that is very important if you are going to be comfortable and maintain the value of your home. Either you do it yourself or pay someone to do it.  The cost of maintenance can be difficult for seniors on a fixed income. If you have a larger home, it will take more energy to heat and cool it, as well as deal with the homes daily expenses. Build a budget and confirm that you can continue living were you are in the comfort that is acceptable to you!

Downsizing to a Smaller Single Story Home

Many seniors will downsize from a large home to a smaller one with the idea of saving money on taxes, on utility costs and the cost of maintaining the home. I have run a number of comparisons taking into account real estate costs, legal fees, moving costs and redecorating costs and for us it just does not make sense financially to down size! Compare the these costs for your situation and complete your own assessment before you make a decision to move to a smaller home!

Some times the decision to downsize is related to health issues. Perhaps you find it difficult to climb the stairs and are looking for a home that is on a single floor. Many people opt for bungalows, but then are faced with all of the extra costs mentioned above. For some installing a lift on the stairs would be a better cheaper option than moving! Evaluate this decision carefully before you make a decision.

Selling Your Home and Renting

One couple we know has sold their home and have decided to rent a town house. They claim that they just were not sure were to move to so they are going to rent for a while before buying another home. I think they decided to take the money they got from selling their home, have invested it and are using this income to augment their life style. They are on a fixed income and have been retired for many years. Their pensions are not indexed and with inflation are probably struggling to meet all of their expenses.

This could be a great way to live and have a a little more income to help you maintain a lifestyle that you enjoy. The danger here is the temptation to spend some of the capital and not just the income. Secondly, is the income you are generating from the sale of your home, sufficient to pay the rent and still have some left over. Renting can be expensive too depending on were you live and how much you pay for rent. Again you need to do the math and determine if this option makes sense for you on a financial basis.

We would love to hear your comments and thoughts about these options. Perhaps there are other points that we did not identify that our readers would find interesting.

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