So if you bought a home with the conventional yard, fence, neighbors, dog and all of the trappings of suburbia, you no doubt have many happy memories that you had back at the farm as you may have called it. Many people even go so far as to name their home something like Happy Acres to give their homestead even more personality and add that sense of ownership to it.
Probably to your kids, the house you raised them in will forever to your home and the idea of anyone else living in it is heresy of the worst kind. But as you begin to move toward retirement age, you may see the value in selling that home and getting into something smaller, cozier and with less overhead.
Retirement does not always mean moving into a nursing home or retirement center. You may have many happy years ahead of you where you are plenty able to get around and have no need of assisted living. But selling the house as you enter into your retirement years makes a lot of sense for a lot of good reasons.
For one thing, you may have that house paid off and there may be a lot of equity in that home that you can use to get into a cozy little condo or apartment and have plenty of money left over to pad your retirement savings or afford a bit of travel with your spouse. If your home can finance some of the trips you have been dreaming of all these years, that is a good payback for being so careful with your money during your working years.
You can take a one time tax exemption that we all are allowed to use which permits you to sell the house and not have to pay taxes on the proceeds even if you do not sink the money into another house. That means that all of that equity money is sitting there waiting for you to put it to work. While you cannot sell your memories, if the house is not serving your needs as a family any more, why bother with it?
Many times when you get done raising the kids and no longer are tied down to a job, it might be time for you and your spouse to get out there and enjoy life and travel. Retirement is often a time to get rid of a lot of your material possessions and get lose to get out and enjoy your freedom and see some of the world that you could not do when you were raising children. But if you live in a small place that is not difficult to lock up and walk away from, you have the freedom that you always dreamed of when you thought of the word retirement.
Another great reason to get out of your house as you move toward retirement is that a house with a yard and all of the other trappings of ownership is a constant ownership problem. You are responsible to fix the fence, get the plumbing fixed, grow a yard, a garden and keep up the house year in and year out. If you sell the place and rent or move into a smaller place such as a condo, a huge amount of that maintenance if not all of it disappears. Now when the appliances break down, just call the man and let them deal with it. You deserve to have those worries taken off of your back. That is what retirement is all about.
So getting rid of the homestead might be a great idea for your retirement planning. But be prepared for the move and the work that getting the old place ready will entail. You did not clutter that place up in a week and you would not get out of it that fast either. But by going through your stuff and streamlining your life now, that is something your kids will not have to do later. And when you are moved out and another young family is getting started in your old homestead, you can congratulate yourself on a great move to put yourself in a perfect place to enjoy a happy and fun retirement with the love of your life.