Making important decisions is an inevitable part of your golden years. The key is in making these decisions and the transitions that go with them as easy as possible on you. Of course, much of this decision-making pertains to your living arrangements, so there will be some degree of emotional turmoil and uncertainty. However, keeping in mind the benefits of downsizing and the advantages it will afford you as a senior, you will soon find that some decisions are, indeed, worth making. And as long as you are well-informed of your options, it’s almost guaranteed that you will ultimately make the right choice.
Your new home
No doubt, the most important decision you’re going to make is how you’re going to move forward—specifically, where you’re going to live and what your living arrangements will be. This is why there’s a definite need for downsizing, not just to lessen your expenses, but also to decrease your responsibilities and worries.
Downsizing leaves you open to explore various living options, running the gamut from aging in place to 55+ communities. Moving into an independent living community is a great option if you want to maintain your independence in a smaller yet more accessible home while enjoying the perks of community living. Some communities even offer scheduled group activities, as well as comprehensive services like housekeeping, laundry, and maintenance.
Needless to say, it’s a good idea to visit various communities before making a decision to find one that suits your needs and preferences. Your budget, too, should be examined. Doing your due diligence, therefore, will help you make the right choice in terms of senior-accessible accommodation, as well as ensure that you receive the right kind of care and assistance that you need, all within your budget.
Your old one
Of course, what you do with your old home is just as important a decision to make. Again, this gives you several options to think about, and through an honest assessment of your current financial capacity, you’re better able to make the right choice.
For many, selling is the way to go. Your home is undoubtedly one of your life’s larger investments, so getting returns from it is only prudent. In fact, in a seller’s market, the proceeds of your home could adequately provide for your living and care needs for decades to come and perhaps even allow travel and recreation. Moreover, selling will also absolve you of your home’s myriad costs, including property taxes. Again, doing your research on the current real estate market in your area is necessary so you get the best possible price for your home, as well as sell it as quickly as possible.
Another option that could be viable financially is to rent out your home. This will ensure that you have regular income coming in, which you can then use to cover your current living expenses. However, this also means that you will need to cover taxes, mortgage payments, and other dues. Furthermore, you inevitably have to take on the various obligations of being a landlord, such as maintenance and tenant care, to name a few. Suffice it to say, while renting out your home can be a financially feasible option, you also need to consider whether you’re up for the considerable responsibility.
Lastly, you can simply gift your home to your children. But while the sentiment is there, so are the tax consequences. In fact, going this route could invariably lead to several concerns, including possible cancellation of your Medicaid eligibility should you need it down the road. So think twice before giving your home outright to your heirs and consider other avenues instead.
Indeed, the sheer number of options available to you at this juncture in your life can be overwhelming. So take the time to examine them and be true to your needs and wants. Remember that these are decisions that will affect the rest of your life, so make them count.
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