Prepping for Your Dream Retirement Home

3 min

Whether it’s a small apartment in a walkable city or a sprawling villa in a rural area, everybody has an idea in their head of what the home they want to retire in will look like.  And if you’ve thought about your dream retirement home, you’ve probably at least thought of one or two things that you’ll need to do if you want it: save up, get a Roth IRA, check Zillow like it’s a second job.  But there’s a lot more that goes into retirement planning, and if you have that picture in your head already, here are some of the things you’ll need to do to realize it.

Consider Your Savings

The least fun thing about retiring is planning and saving up for it, but it’s essential that you do this, and sooner rather than later.  If you want to retire at a reasonable age (or at the age you’ve been envisioning), you should start looking into the economics of that now.  Especially if you have a clear picture in your head of where and how you want to spend your retirement, there are steps that you can take starting at any time that can help you achieve it.

For example, there are many ways to save up for retirement.  IRAs and Roth IRAs are structured retirement accounts that provide some tax advantages that make them an attractive option for many saving for the future.  If you want to go a little more high-risk high-reward, you can take that same money and use it for investments, though you become more vulnerable to market fluctuations.

You’ll also want to consider the home itself: will you be able to afford it outright?  With just one mortgage?  These are important things to consider, as you don’t want to wind up having planned out your whole retirement without accounting for your housing costs.  Though it isn’t all fire and brimstone if you don’t; All Reverse Mortgage, a reverse mortgage lender, says that “even if you don’t have enough saved, you can still retire comfortably.”

Finally, there’s the question of when you are going to be retiring.  Many younger people today feel as though retirement will be something they won’t be able to do comfortably until they are much older than their parents, but if that isn’t something that you want, starting to save and plan for it immediately can help you retire at a time that feels more comfortable to you.  Retiring early is also something that many wind up thinking about, but it has its own set of costs and benefits.

Think About Moving: Timing and Cost

Most people, unfortunately, do not already live in their dream retirement home, which means one big thing: moving.  Nobody likes moving, but there are ways to significantly reduce the amount of stress that moving will put you through, like downsizing beforehand or hiring helpers.

The timing of your move is very important.  The ideal time to move for you can be based on many factors, and your decision can have wide-ranging consequences.  Will you be selling a home, making the summer home-buying season your main target?  Will you need a lot of helpers, making winter a slightly better bet?  While this may all seem like it’s too far in advance, having these kinds of things in mind can be hugely beneficial down the line.

It’s also worth considering how much moving will cost.  Moving is expensive even in the best of circumstances; besides just the cost of moving your things (which includes gas, renting a truck, etc.), there’s also set-up costs at your new place, and almost everybody winds up throwing away at least a few things as they go, which can mean expensive trips to the dump (or city pick-ups).  Having these costs in mind can prevent the possibility of surprise costs later that throw off your financial plans, and significantly reduce how stressful moving can be.


It’s not all about the home, of course.  Retirement can also be about the things that you want to do; maybe you want to travel around the world?  Spend your time volunteering?  Or just curling up with jigsaw puzzles and tea?  Whatever your plans for your retirement may be, they will benefit significantly from you thinking about them ahead of time.  Retiring comfortably in the home you’ve always wanted to spend the rest of your life in is a goal that too many people start thinking about too late, and wind up missing out on; but if you plan ahead starting young, you can have the retirement you always wanted in the home you dream of.

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