Canada’s population is aging and the Baby Boomers have been reaching the 65 mark for the past few years. This demographic will only continue to impact the market, and with Calgary’s real estate market taking on new heights, many are discussing downsizing.
Although it would seem that downsizing is an on-the-fence topic for most baby boomers themselves. Studies are divided, some indicating that the boomers will downsize in droves, while others state that the cohorts want nothing to do with the idea. Either way, it’s something to consider, especially if you’re an empty-nester or a boomer looking to revise your finances.
Don’t Feel Obligated
Retirement is an exciting time! Taking the time to consider your options can really benefit you in the long term. Most importantly, don’t feel like you have to jump on the downsizing bandwagon. If you can afford to stay in your home throughout retirement and you have no qualms about staying, then trust your gut (and financial planning).
Do Look At Your Retirement Finances
Quite possibly the most important factor, financial planning for retirement can make or break the decision to downsize. Most baby boomers are long past having paid off their mortgages, and they’ve spent years building equity. Will tapping into that help with your retirement fund? If you’re not relying on the profit from selling your home, what’s your plan for the extra cash?
Navigating the real estate market is where your agent can be extremely helpful. You’ll want to discuss rising home prices and the right time to sell. Calculate the profit from downsizing, and your agent will help you find a home within your budget.
If you’re actively looking for a new home, consider expenses down the road. Will the smaller home require a new roof in a few years? Sometimes these extra expenses end up costing more than staying put.
Don’t Sacrifice Lifestyle
Saving a wad of cash may be all peaches and cream, but what if you don’t like your new home? Weigh the pros and cons in relation to your lifestyle. If puttering in the garden is your life force, then a condo probably won’t cut it. Semi-detached homes could be the happy medium for you.
Another consideration is storage. How much can you live without, and how much are you willing store? Calculate any associated costs with getting rid of or storing your possessions.
Boomers are often opting for condos, which are smaller and easy to maintain. However, you’ll want to plan for reliable access. With last year’s floods, some condo buildings’ elevators saw major damages and access was limited.
Growing Boomer Communities
There’s a large number of active adult communities in the United States, and the trend is making its way up north. One such community can be found in Kemptville, where smaller homes offer convenient living to active boomers. Going forward, it will be interesting to see the impact baby boomers have on Calgary’s housing developments!
If you'd like to start looking for a home to downsize to, take a look at the links below.
Krista Kehoe, Calgary real estate agent & REALTOR®