Is it Time to "Right-Size" Your Life?

Rightsizing in Retirement: How to Find the Perfect Home for Homesteading and Entertaining

Downsizing gets a lot of attention, but other housing trends are also on the rise amongst seniors, such as aging in place, urbanization, and rightsizing. By following the rightsizing trend, for instance, you’ll focus on finding a home that meets your specific wants and needs in retirement, giving you the opportunity to pursue new hobbies and passions in your golden years. And for many seniors, a homesteading hobby can be a great way to stay active, bring in some extra cash, and become more self-sufficient in retirement.

Check out these tips to learn how to find the right home for your post-retirement hobbies and passions — including homesteading, gardening, entertaining, and anything else you’d like to pursue in your golden years.

List Your Home Must-Haves

If you’re looking to upsize (or rightsize) in retirement, there are a few things you’ll need to consider before beginning your search for a new home. These include:

Location. Are there local LGBTQ groups, community centers, and ministries you’d like to stay in contact with as you age? Now that urban homesteading is becoming more popular, you don’t necessarily need to move to a rural area with lots of outdoor space to pursue a homesteading hobby.

Goals. What kinds of hobbies and activities would you like to pursue in retirement? Do you need adequate outdoor space for raising chickens and planting a vegetable garden? Are you going to make your own soaps, herbal remedies, and clothing? To find the right home for your golden years, you’ll need to identify your goals and the different activities you’d like to pursue.

Size. Do you have kids, grandkids, friends, and other loved ones you’d like to entertain in your new home? How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you and your guests need? Will you need outdoor space for building a pole barn, shed, porch, or guest house?

Budget. Of course, the right home for your senior years will depend largely on your budget. We’ll talk more about setting a home buying budget in the next section.

Set Your Budget

Depending on your desired location, homesteading goals, and the size of the home you’re looking to buy, the cost of upsizing could easily exceed what you’re able to afford in retirement. As such, it’s important to set your home buying budget early on and compare several mortgage options if you’ll be financing the purchase of your new homestead. You’ll also want to work closely with an experienced mortgage lender and real estate agent, specifically one with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation.

When setting your home buying budget, it’s also important to factor in the cost of repairs and improvements that your new home may need. Window glass replacements and repairs, for instance, can cost anywhere from $170 to $375 per windowpane, while repairs to your home’s foundation can cost anywhere from $450 to $11,000. Some other common home repairs include water damages, mold removal, electrical issues, and roof replacements.

To reduce your risk of injury on moving day, you’ll also want to budget for professional moving expenses. Laura McHolm of HuffPost offers some tips on finding the best moving company for you.

Is Rightsizing the Right Move for You?

Downsizing can be a great solution for some retirees, but it isn’t ideal if you’re looking to entertain loved ones, pursue a homesteading hobby, and stay active in your golden years. And since elderly members of the LGBTQ community are especially vulnerable to social isolation, depression, and other mental health concerns, rightsizing is a superior choice for many older adults. By following the rightsizing trend in retirement, you can find a home that has everything you want and need for better health and happiness in your golden years.

Are you an elder member of the LGBTQ community? Visit ElderPride for community events, classes, and so much more.

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