If you’re retiring from your job, you need to make sure your finances are in order. And for many seniors, this means making a decision about what to do with the home they live in.
While some seniors prefer to stay put in their current house, others may want to sell – or may need to in order to shore up their financial situation.
It can sometimes be difficult to figure out what group you fit into. But you can get a good indication of whether unloading your property would make the most sense by watching for these four signs that suggest you may be better off finding a buyer for your home before leaving the working world.
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1. You’re worried about running short of money in retirement
If you are afraid you won’t be able to afford to retire, selling your house could sometimes give you much more financial security.
ay, for example, you have a family home that’s worth quite a bit more than you owe on it because it has gone up in value over time or because you’ve paid down your mortgage – or both. In these circumstances, selling could be one of the best things you do. You can take the proceeds from the sale, use some of the money to buy a smaller and cheaper place you own free and clear, and invest the rest to bulk up your investment account. This could go a long way toward solving your money woes.
Not everyone is in such a good position, but selling could also help you be more financially secure even if you don’t have a lot of equity. If you can lower your housing costs, even if you don’t walk away with a big profit, you may still be better off.
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2. You still owe a lot on your mortgage
Ideally, you’ll have your mortgage loan paid down by the time you reach retirement. But if that’s not the case and you still owe a small fortune, you may not want to commit to sending a lot of your retirement money to your lender.
In this situation, downsizing to a property with a smaller mortgage balance – and a lower monthly payment – could free up the cash you’d otherwise spend on interest. This can give you more to spend on other things you need after leaving work and no longer getting paychecks to cover your costs.
3. You have very high property taxes
Some homes have very high property taxes. If yours is one of them, housing may continue to cost you a lot of money even if your mortgage is paid off. Property taxes often increase over time, so you’ll be facing a real risk that your big tax burden will only grow as you get older and perhaps see your savings account balance begin to dwindle.
Moving to an area where you don’t have to pay the government so much for the privilege of owning your home could be quite helpful in freeing up room in your monthly budget if you find yourself facing a big tax bill each year.
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4. You’re concerned about maintenance and repairs
Maintenance and repairs can become a financial – and physical – burden as you get older.
If you don’t think you can, or want to, take care of your house any more or if you are afraid it will be cost prohibitive to deal with your home’s issues, it can be better to sell ASAP while you’re still young enough to manage the move and before you sink a lot of money into repairs that may not increase your property’s value.
If any of these four signs apply to you, it’s worth thinking seriously about selling and relocating before you leave work. Doing so could make all the difference in terms of the financial security you have as a retiree.
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