As a person gets older, they begin to slow down. An odd side-benefit of the lowered energy and mobility is the decreased need for things like groceries, clothing, and even the power bill. After retirement, you burn up less energy on youthful things like running, jumping, and working, therefore end up consuming less food and inflicting less wear-and-tear on your clothes and environment. For all the normal monthly expenses, a reduced income from pensions, retirement packages, and social security is often more than enough for a single retired person, but what about your home? Many older people still live in houses big enough to hold a lot of family, and don’t want to leave these memory-filled residences behind.
While you could downsize into a comfy apartment and coast comfortably on the sale profits for years, the savvy retiree who wants to stay in place can use the house to maintain itself and make a little side money instead! If you or someone you know is debating downsizing and selling the family home, consider following options before you decide:
1. Move In More Family
The house was built and bought to support a larger lively family. If you’ve been missing the pitter-pat of little feet on your kitchen tile and the busy morning routine of people getting up and heading to work or school, consider inviting more family to join you in a house that has become too big. Should you have relatives who are staying in cramped quarters for financial reasons, offer to pool your resources if they will come live in your house. In return for helping you pay the property taxes and keep the place clean, they can enjoy the family-oriented space you’ve spent decades cultivating. You can effectively ‘downsize’ by personally occupying only a small section of the house without ever having to leave or sell.
2. Rent to Young Professionals
Students and young professionals are constantly seeking inexpensive housing near work and class locations, and they aren’t picky. Especially those working their way through school on a scholarship and a part-time job, they could gain a lot of benefit from a safe, comfortable place to sleep and residence with someone who can remind them to slow down for the occasional sandwich. By offering what amounts to rooms in a boarding house, you can see your home filled with industrious activity while also making a little extra money to pay the mortgage. There are usually dozens if not hundreds of young professionals in each city looking for a place to stay while they begin their careers and start paying off student loans. If you find that a house full of young people is more challenging to keep up with, consider offering a discount on rent for chores or use the proceeds to buy yourself a cleaning service to keep the place nice.
Many people make their retirement plans years in advance when in reality, it’s nearly impossible to guess where you will be in a span of time longer than two or three years. The vast majority of seniors aren’t prepared for the changed in budget requirements, the need to downsize for comfort or finances, and unforeseen opportunities that may become available. While the possibility of a medical emergency must always be considered some of the changes in your plan might be positive ones like the opportunities we’re discussing now.
Of course, this is barely the first half of our five fun suggestions for how to downsize in your own home. Join us next time where we’ll talk about other ways you can open your home to the local community and make a little cash on the side.