In retirement, you don't necessarily need a house with several bedrooms and a big yard. In fact, stairs to climb and a yard that needs mowing can become a significant liability as you age. Renters get to outsource emergency repairs and some home maintenance chores, which can make life easier as a retiree. Downsizing to an apartment in Raleigh, NC can also improve your retirement finances.
Here are some reasons to become a renter in retirement.
Tap your home equity. When you sell your home and become a renter, you can add that home equity to your nest egg, which could significantly improve your retirement finances. Selling the home and renting gives you capital that can produce and earn income. It costs less to rent than it does to own. There are no maintenance costs, there are no property taxes and sometimes utilities are included.
Downsize to a smaller place. Once your children move out of the house, you don't need as much space or stuff. Downsizing to a living space more appropriate for current needs can be additionally helpful if moving from a multi-story to single-story home, i.e., eliminating stairs.
Lower your cost of living. Retirees no longer need to live in expensive areas near the office or in good school districts. Sometimes moving even a short distance can result in a drastically lower cost of living.
Outsource home maintenance. In many rental agreements, it is the landlord's responsibility to maintain the property, including the lawn, exterior of the building and many of the appliances. You are "shifting the burden of home maintenance and repair to the landlord. This includes interior, but also exterior things like lawn maintenance and snow removal.
One phone call for repairs. When something breaks, you don't have to spend your day finding a person to conduct the repair or getting price estimates. You simply call the landlord or administration office and put in a maintenance request. A lot goes wrong with older homes and that's why a lot of people want to relocate. You don't have to deal with it when things break – you just call the super.
Live near the amenities you use. Some retirees choose to relocate to a walkable location near stores, parks and recreational opportunities. You can walk to things like shops or the theater. It can be useful to base yourself near public transportation in case you reach a point when you no longer want to drive.
Relocate near family. Retirement can be an opportunity to move closer to your children and grandchildren. If you rent close to your family or children or grandchildren, you have less travel expenses to see family.
More flexibility. Renting gives you the flexibility to experience a new location or lifestyle without a long-term commitment. Renting gives you an opportunity to try out a place and see what a place is really like to live in. Rather than buying right away, you can rent for a full year and see if you can imagine yourself living in your new community.
Find age-appropriate features. Retirees can select apartments with amenities that will allow them to live independently for as long as possible. Features to look for include apartments with a minimum amount of stairs and convenient laundry facilities as well as apartments with fitness centers and pools.