4 Reasons You May Want to Sell Your Home After You Retire

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 19, 2021 - First published on June 12, 2021

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A senior couple in front of a house and a "sold" sign.

Image source: Getty Images

Giving up work could provide the perfect opportunity to find a new home.

Retirement means major changes to your life.

When you give up work, you'll have a lot more free time and flexibility. But there may be another big change as well. For many retirees, it may make sense to sell the home they lived in while working and to move to a new place instead.

Of course, this isn't necessarily the best choice for every senior. But here are four reasons why selling your home after leaving the working world could be the best choice for you.

1. You could downsize to a property without a mortgage

If you are still making a monthly mortgage payment on your current home, that would mean you'd need more retirement income to cover your housing costs. That could drain your investment account sooner or cause you to skip out on things you might enjoy doing in retirement, such as traveling.

If you can afford to sell your current home for enough money to pay off your loan and purchase a smaller, mortgage-free property, that added flexibility that can come from this move could potentially make your retirement a lot more enjoyable.

2. You could relocate to an area with a lower cost of living

If you had to live in an expensive location as a result of your job, then retirement could present a golden opportunity to move to an affordable area with a low cost of living. If you don't have to pay as much for housing or other necessities, this can make your money go further and open up the door to spending your cash on other fun things in retirement.

3. You could reduce your ongoing maintenance obligations

In retirement, chances are good you may not want to be bothered with a lot of the expenses of home ownership, including cleaning and outdoor upkeep. If your current home requires you to spend a lot of time or money maintaining it, then you may decide it makes sense to sell it and switch to a different space.

A smaller home could require less energy and effort to care for. And if you'd lived in your home a while, then switching to a newer one could mean you avoid the need for a lot of expensive upgrades or fixes that old houses tend to require.

And for more options beyond a smaller home, check out our guide on alternatives to single-family homes. Depending on your budget and needs, the following might be even more affordable and a better option for you:

4. You could find a home where you can age in place

As you age, your needs for your home may change dramatically. For example, you may eventually need a property that is all on one story if you become unable to easily do stairs. Or you may need wider hallways for a wheelchair or grab bars in the bathroom.

You could wait until you reach an age where you are unable to manage your current property. But that often means moving in a crisis. If you'd rather take the time to find a perfect new home that will accommodate your needs as you age, then it can make sense to make a change early in retirement.

As a bonus, you can become entrenched in your new community while you're still relatively young and mobile so you'll be more comfortable living there as you age and potentially develop health issues.

Whether any of these scenarios applies to you or not is an open question, as everyone's situation is different. But as you can see, there are often plenty of great reasons to relocate in retirement. So be sure to give the idea serious consideration as you think about what life will look like after you've left the workforce for good.

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