Retiring in Mexico is the number one spot for Americans according to one of the biggest international surveys of the best places to retire. But before you can board the plane for Ecuador, Costa Rica or Colombia (also high on the list), what are you going to do about your home? It boils down to the following two questions.
1. Can My Home Help Secure My Retirement?
If you have enough money in the bank to live comfortably while maintaining a second home throughout your retirement, that's fantastic. But for the average retiree in 2017, you’re going to need your home to help secure your retirement. There are many different ways to do it.
First, do you really plan to quit working altogether? The fact is, most retirees these days are getting part-time jobs after retirement or even starting their own businesses. If you plan on adding to your income even in retirement, you may not have to use your home to secure your finances right away. Social security, savings, and your extra income could do that.
On the other hand, if you just want to watch the birds and sit in the park, you may want to consider taking out some equity in your house. One way is through a reverse mortgage. However, be careful when you choose this option not to leave a mountain of debt when the bill comes for your heirs.
You could also try to refinance your home to reduce your monthly payments. That way you can keep a little more money at the end of each month.
2. Should I Sell the House?
This is the million dollar question for most retirees: should I sell the house? If you are like most people retiring in 2017, you haven’t been holding on to your house just to pass it down to your kids. In fact, you're probably thinking about selling your house so that you can downsize.
It is a smart financial move for many retirees. You may still live in the house that you raised your kids in – packed wall to wall with memories – but do you really still need a four bedroom home? How often do the kids visit and aren’t those rooms sitting empty most days?
Think of how much extra money you could have if you sold your $500K home for $800K and bought a $175K beachfront home in Florida? Tempted yet? Okay, how about this. How much money and time do you spend maintaining your home?
Are you dreading back-breaking shovel work next winter before this one is even over? A new adventure in a new place could be just the thing.
Start thinking about the answer to these two questions if this is the year that you plan to finally enjoy retirement. For these and other home-selling tips, feel free to reach out to me anytime.
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