A recent Ipsos poll revealed that as homeowners age, their attachment to their home grows. This results in nine out of ten Canadian homeowners (age 65+) voicing their preference for staying in their current home throughout their retirement.
While we love hearing you love your home and that your home has been a treasured sanctuary for the memories of your life, does it make sense to stay there?
What Should I Consider Before I Right Size?
Here are some things to consider if you are considering staying in your home:
Space for instalments (bathtub supports and stair/chair lifts)
House maintenance (cleaning, painting, seasonal changes, etc)
Outdoor maintenance costs (when and if you can no longer tend to these)
Space and clutter older people sometimes collect items that make it very expensive for their children to clean later in life
Proximity to amenities (if driving is no longer an option what about groceries, friends, activities, etc).
Not only are there physical limiting items but you could also be looking at financial troubles.
Financial Aspects To Take Into Consideration:
Data suggests that 20% of Canadian seniors still carry a mortgage. If you are part of that 20% and will be living on limited budget inclusive of a Canadian Pension Plan many seniors find it hard to stay in their home.
It becomes especially hard when troubles arise such as a flood from a drainpipe, a hot water replacement or shingles need to be replaced. These are costly and most people find themselves in trouble at this point.
Many seniors simply don’t have enough savings and investments to cover the costs associated with aging in place. Some 77 percent of seniors rely on the Canada Pension Plan as their primary source of income, while 73 percent lean heavily on their Old Age Security pension to help make ends meet.
So, what typically happens is the burden falls on their children. However, with the cost of living rising, interest rates raising and homes being more expensive than ever, children typically do not have the means to step in and cover two households. Especially if they have dependents at home.
What Are Next Steps for Before I Right Size?
Right sizing or Downsizing to a smaller house or condo is a popular direction. It may or may not be for you. You may want to consider “right-sizing” your home. This could mean a bungalow with no stairs, or a location closer to family, medical facilities or conveniences. Or this could mean a condo with no maintenance and amenities. And sometimes this can mean moving into a group home that allows you to live on your own but allows you the option to be looked after.
If you are at the point in life where you are trying to decide on what is best for you and your family – it’s probably time to have the talk.
At this time, some families are looking at having their home go to their families in order to leave them a “little something” when they are gone – not realizing they are actually leaving debt and a mess to clean.
If you or your family need to discuss next steps, home evaluations, timing the market and moving in general, we are always here to help. There is no obligation to work with us, we just want to make sure you are taken care of.
As always, if you need help buying or selling a home, contact us.