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5 Tips for Renovating Your Retirement Home

Retirement Funding Taxes

Whether you’re in retirement or nearing retirement, you may be looking around at your current house and wondering if this is the house you want to spend your retirement and really, the rest of your life in.  In fact, there are many reasons to consider a home renovation. For many, a home improvement project can increase the comfort of your everyday life, creating the luxurious lifestyle many of us are looking forward to in our golden years. For others, a home renovation during retirement may be caused by a  health or safety measure. No matter the reason, taking into account the following five considerations may help you maintain financial health throughout retirement ⁠— while still allowing you to create the home you’ve envisioned for yourself.

1. Consider Energy-Efficient Systems 

When possible, always use  the energy-efficient setups and materials. Things like, Energy-saving windows, for example, are designed to keep hot or cool air inside your home, this will go a long way to help reduce the amount of energy used by your heating and cooling systems and lowering your overall energy-use costs. Similarly, insulation upgrades can reduce heat and air loss as well. Other areas to save energy include high-quality HVAC systems with automated adjustment settings and water systems, such as demand water heaters that offer hot water only as needed as opposed to the conventional water heaters that are constantly heating. Not only will you save on energy costs, but there are tons of tax credits available which you can claim on your tax return just for using energy-efficient equipment. 

2. Go With Durable Materials

Choosing long-lasting materials can prevent the need for repairs in the future, lowering the cost of maintenance. On the exterior of your home, going with PVC or composite lumber for renovations, such as a new deck, results in less maintenance in the long run than a material such as wood. Unlike wood, composite lumber won’t splinter or crack over time and has a much lower risk of organism's like algae growing on the surface which can make the deck slippery and very dangerous, which is ideal if you plan on living in your retirement home for many years.

On the interior of your home, opting for durable materials can also lower costs. For example, if renovating your kitchen, hard surface counters like quartz or other man-made materials are easy to clean, maintain and may be available at cheaper prices.

3. Increase Comfort & Lower Healthcare Costs with Preventative Measures

 Setting up your home to reduce the chance of accidents can lower healthcare costs while increasing your comfort. This is something we just touched on with decking. Updating bathrooms by adding grab bars makes them easier to maneuver, and replacing tubs with showers enables you to walk right in without needing to climb. All of these measures can reduce the possibility of injury. Other renovations could include replacing knobs with D-handles, which are easier to grip. Overall, taking preventative action can make your home more comfortable and reduce accidents. Doing so can help lessen the chance you’ll need to make even larger renovations down the line to accommodate reduced mobility.

4. Renovations Can Increase Your Property Value

If you’ve thought of selling or renting your home in the future, the right home improvement projects may up the value of your house. No matter where your property is located, projects such as adding a deck or modernizing your kitchen and bathroom have the potential to increase the value of your home when you’re prepared to sell. This can help aid your retirement lifestyle.

5. Choose the Right Financing Option for Your Situation

If not paying upfront for your home renovations, you’ll have to borrow money through other means. Several options include a home equity line of credit, which may have a lower interest rate than other loans, and any interest could be tax-deductible. Other possibilities include traditional bank loans or credit card promotions that offer 0% APR financing or reward programs offering cashback. 

Some might consider moving into a new home that is already equipped with your desired amenities. This can be the case if the cost and inconvenience of the renovation look like they will outweigh the benefits. If this is something you were thinking about, its imperative that we plan ahead  to save for a renovation and include any cost's in your NOW bucket. You can work a large project into your retirement spending plan. With the right planning, you can experience financial well-being while enjoying a new-and-improved home during retirement.

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About the Author

James M. Comblo , CFF
is a Partner and the Chief Compliance Officer at FSC Wealth Advisors. His greatest passion in the financial services industry is helping clients accomplish their dreams both with investments and their personal lives. To learn more about him click here.