Should You Buy a Retirement Home Early?

Isabella Goode

Making financial plans for retirement is essential, especially if you want to be able to retire earlier in life.

But, sometimes even the most well-intentioned actions can end up with the opposite results to what you wanted. If you’re considering retiring soon, you might have thought about the option of purchasing your perfect retirement home before you do so. You might even have seen a property that would work perfectly for you. But, before you buy a forever home, it’s worth considering some of the potential downsides of doing so and weighing up your options prior to making a decision.

Do You Know the Property’s History?

If you’re going to be living in this home for the rest of your life, then you’ll want to know as much about it as you can before you hand over any money to buy it. This could include getting a professional to survey the property and look for any imperfections or blemishes that could get worse and cause problems for you over time. The last thing that you want during your retirement is to be dealing with property issues that could have been avoided. You might also want to know about the previous owners of the property if it has been part of an estate. One of the best ways to do this is by searching estate records at Public Records Review. Public Records Reviews is a site where you can find all publicly available information about a certain person or a property with a simple search.

Will Your Tastes Change Over Time?

This might not be such a big deal if you’re planning to retire in the very near future, but if you’re considering buying a property to retire in ten years or more from now, consider the fact that your tastes, likes, and dislikes might change over time and when you do retire, you just might not like the house as much as you once did. Consider your preferences today – are they the same as they were five or ten years ago, or do you tend to choose very different styles compared to back then? If you’ve owned a home for a long amount of time before you finally retire, consider whether you are going to need to invest in big renovations to keep the home current and in line with your preferences.

Will Your Needs Change?

If you’re thinking of retiring early, then you might not be paying much attention to how your needs might change when you are older. Older retirees generally need less space than they did when working, but space itself is often different. It might not be a problem now, but when you get older, it might be important for you to have fewer staircases in the home or a downstairs bathroom, for example. Having a big yard might no longer be at the top of your priority list as you get older and find that you struggle with maintaining it. In addition, more Americans are moving away from rural areas and into urban settings; retirees often prefer a more convenient lifestyle so think about how your choice of home will give you access to the things you will need the most when retired, such as healthcare or socialization.

Financial Strain of Owning Two Homes

Before you purchase a future home to retire in, consider the fact that it could damage your financial situation and make it harder for you to retire early. Owning a second home can put further strain on your finances and unless you are able to rent it enough to make a profit after tax, it will only reduce the amount of cash you have available for saving and investing in your future retirement. And, adjustments in tax law can happen at any point, which may make it even more expensive to own a second home.

How to Approach Buying a Retirement Home

Ultimately, it’s down to you to do what you think is best and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to purchasing a retirement property. But for many, the best option is often to wait until you are quite close to retiring to start your search for the right property. If you are considering moving away for your retirement, consider spending a lot of vacation time in that area or rent a property there first to really get a feel for it and decide whether it’s right for you; living somewhere is often much different experience to visiting as a tourist.

Buying a property at any stage is always a major purchase, so if you are considering purchasing a retirement property now or in the future, it’s a good idea to talk about your plans over with a real estate professional and a financial advisor. Flexibility can really pay off in this situation, so it’s worth considering all your options before buying a retirement home too early.

About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired three decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement (Your Simple Path to FIRE) and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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