Downsizing or Relocating
"Say, Bob. Now that you have your retirement pension and your gold watch, when are you moving to Florida?"
Well, Florida or Arizona may have been the most likely places to retire in the last century, but today you're probably looking at much more creative destinations. Everything from the hills of North Carolina, to the lakes of Tennessee, to a small place outside Boise or a little townhouse in Santa Fe. (And if living abroad is in your thoughts, read more about it here.)
Whatever your destination, 'downsizing' or 'relocating' offers the most typical solution to bringing costs in line, freeing up funds locked in as equity in your larger home and jumpstarting retirement savings. Maybe the recent market slump means you have to delay this move a bit, but nothing keeps you from researching and planning it now. Besides, the market slump is nationwide, in all housing categories, so downsizing or relocating now might still make sense. The money you lose by selling your undervalued house today can be made up by the bargain you find when you buy elsewhere.
And nothing says you have to wait until retirement age to make the move. If you plan to stay nearby, no need to change jobs to make the move. And if your plans mean relocating, so many work activities can continue anywhere, thanks to the internet.
'Retirement' has so many definitions today: stopping work ... reinventing yourself with new work ... or just taking Social Security and continuing doing what your're already doing. But whatever it means to you, downsizing or moving to a less expensive part of the country now is a perfect way to jumpstart your retirement savings.
Your Retirement Starter House
Remember when you bought your first place, or Starter House? Maybe right after you married, where you planned to start your family? Well, look at this next home as your Retirement Starter House! Over the years, that first Starter House got traded up again and again. Your need for space kept increasing. But then the kids grew up and moved out. And now it no longer fits the stage of your life.
So as you start comparing different U.S. destinations, here is an excellent resource for you: My Dream Locale.