Budget for home improvements. Don’t forget that homes age along with their occupants. A house that falls into disrepair may be more difficult to live in or could even become downright unsafe. A backlog of repairs and maintenance could also affect the value of the house.
In addition to upkeep, the house may need to be remodeled to accommodate your changing physical needs. You may want to create a downstairs bedroom, for instance, or install a stair lift.
To help cover the cost of renovation and home maintenance, Spickler suggests bolstering your income from Social Security, retirement accounts and pensions with investments that have the potential to generate steady income, such as dividend-paying stocks. “That way, you likely will not be forced to sell off long-term assets in an emergency.”
“You may also want to consider setting up a home equity line of credit,” says Bank of America Wealth Management Lending Officer Satish Peters. “This could help cover the cost of any home improvements you may need and could serve as a financial bridge in an emergency.”
Anticipate future health-care needs. Research what services are available in your community before you need them, urges Ken Smith, senior research scholar and director, Mobility Division, Stanford Center on Longevity. “You may someday require these services to help you stay independent.”
Involve the whole family. Ultimately, the decision to stay in the home you love isn’t yours alone. “Your family may be affected by your choice, so share your desires and concerns with them, and listen to what they have to say,” says Debra Greenberg, director, Retirement & Personal Wealth Solutions, Bank of America.
Planning ahead while you’re still young and active can help you enjoy retirement to its fullest — in the home you fell in love with years before.