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Reimagining Home Sweet Home

House in Ecuador, near Andes Mountains. Source: Authors.

Housing, and the cost of it, are the biggest conundrums to face when crafting your personal retirement dream.

You might be asking yourself questions such as the following:

Should we keep our home and all the corresponding expenses? Maybe we need to downsize so we can afford retirement? Do I want to relocate to someplace different altogether, a place with better weather and lower cost of living? How about if we travel part-time, or forgo owning a home and rent instead?

The good news is that no matter where you are in the assessment of your needs on this topic, both financially and emotionally, there are solutions that will fit. Take a look below at some of our viable suggestions for facing the retirement housing challenge.

Keeping your home
If you want to mix travel opportunities with keeping your permanent residence, you could do a home exchange with other homeowners around the world. This is a win-win situation, as you will be saving money on lodging while on vacation, and your own home will be taken care of while you are away. Neither party in the exchange has to worry about their own plants, pets, or other maintenance requirements during their stay.

If keeping your home is a priority in the retirement equation but finances are a consideration, you might choose to rent out a room, a section of your home, or a cottage on your property on a more-or-less permanent basis. This works out especially well if your hometown has appealing tourist options like a winery nearby, professional sports stadiums, museums, mountains, or a beach. In this way, you could host a tourist and charge for their lodging, or take on a roommate. Airbnb has become very popular with both sides of the coin in this trade.

If downsizing suits you better, how should you go about it? Do you want to downsize and live in the same town or state? Would you rather find a state or country with a better cost of living, better weather, and friendlier tax policies? Maybe you like the urban style, living right in the city with restaurants, gymnasiums, and shopping all within walking distance?

Find information here on Income-Tax Friendly States, "Worry-Free" Housing, or the 100 Best Places to Retire.

If you'd like to make up for lost time and travel throughout your golden years, you don't have to give up luxury. There are countless house-sitting opportunities where you could care for a home for weeks or months at a time. Or hit the road in an RV or live on a boat!

The perpetual question
No matter what you choose to do today, time passes and life moves on. One day you might find yourself in need of assisted living or long-term care. This is the housing consideration we all face years down the road. You could choose to age in place, join communities that provide for progressive care, or move to a different, more affordable country as this need presses.

Wherever you find yourself with this perpetual question of housing, take a look at our housing options page for a variety of choices that may fit your situation.

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (1)

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  • Report this Comment On August 20, 2013, at 2:19 PM, ADL22 wrote:

    Some excellent travel lifestyle suggestions. For the last five years, since retiring, my husband and I have been house sitting around the world mostly through assignments listed with some years traveling more than staying home. We engage sitters to look after our property who pay all utilities reducing our costs. One day I may get brave enough to sell our home, for me it's comforting to know I have a permanent base. Do we really need it? Truthfully no, we could house sit permanently we turn down more assignments than we can manage for us and the home owners we sit for it's a win win all round.

    Angela Laws

  • Report this Comment On August 22, 2013, at 8:49 AM, jenniferadams198 wrote:

    Another +1 here for

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