Our housing costs eat up a large portion of our household income and as a retiree on a fixed income, those costs can be crippling. Unfortunately the cost of housing is only going to get more expensive as we try to manage all of the things that are being thrown at us.
While we may not have all the answers, we do have a few tips that might take some of the strain off of your finances so you can breathe a little easier.
1. Pay off your mortgage
Paying off the mortgage on your home can save you lots of money, considering that most people spend one quarter of their annual income on housing! It’s true that you’ll still have to pay property tax and homeowner’s insurance, but it’s still a dramatic savings.
2. Relocate to a retiree-friendly location
Moving to a less expensive, tax-friendly location is another way you can save on housing costs. If you don’t already live in one of these states, the cost to move will need to be taken into consideration, but when you compare the cost of living in your current area to someplace that’s less expensive and have low (or no) income or property tax, you might deem the move necessary.
If you have a large spacious home where much of the available space is unused (or isn’t used often), perhaps it’s time to consider downsizing. A real estate agent can help you put your home on the market, find qualified buyers (some who may even offer more than you’re asking), and can help you find a new home if you don’t have anything lined up.
4. Consider multigenerational living arrangements
If you don’t want to move out of your home and have a lot of space, perhaps you’d like to have some family members move in with you. They can help pay the bills and maintain the home, sure… But they can also keep you company and even a caretaker if anything should ever happen to you.
If you don’t have any family who can (or will) live with you, perhaps looking for a roommate would be a better option. Renting a room to someone in your age range and enjoys similar hobbies is a fantastic way to stay in your home without worrying about money.
5. Sell your property and retire abroad
For those who have always wanted to travel but didn’t have the opportunity, why not do it now? You don’t have to answer to a boss anymore and you can come and go as you please. If were to sell your home, you’d have a large sum of money that you can use to travel all over the world. Once you find a place that you’d like to call home, you can do that (providing you go through the necessary steps to do it legally). If you don’t want to sell your home, you could hire a property management company to handle your property and find renters or turn it into an Airbnb.
Trying to figure out how to live a comfortable life while on a fixed income as a retiree can feel overwhelming, especially in today’s world. However, these tips can help get the ball rolling. Talk to loved ones or other retirees for advice. Ultimately, you have to do what’s best for you!