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Make the most of retirement with a property that is ready for the next phase of your life. While it may not be at the top of your list regarding retirement planning, home improvement projects can play a critical role.

The best approach requires looking ahead to how your lifestyle might change to identify upgrades you can do now to be ready for the future. Whether it’s the financial constraints that often come with retirement or simply the desire to focus your well-deserved leisure time elsewhere, planning ahead can make the transition more enjoyable.

Increase Accessibility

Mobility issues are one aspect of aging no one looks forward to. However, avoiding the consequences can be the worst approach. Instead, consider ways to make your home more accommodating as you age. Minor changes such as slip-resistant flooring, door handles rather than knobs, and additional lighting can help. While more extensive changes, like walk-in showers with seating, first-floor ensuites, and open floor plans, can have an even greater impact on your ability to remain in a home for as long as possible.

Reduce Maintenance

Whether it’s due to age or just to make better use of your time in retirement, cutting down on the maintenance your home requires is a smart way to prepare for your Golden Years. Gutter covers, xeriscape landscaping, upgraded siding, and LED lighting are just a few of the ways to cut down the hours your house demands of you. Take the time to consider which areas of your home require the most attention, and look for ways to simplify the effort.

Add Equity

For many homeowners, home equity is an essential part of their retirement plans. Some will sell their current home to relocate or downsize, using the proceeds to fund new goals. Others may take advantage of a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) to access equity, deferring repayment until they leave the home. Regardless, maximizing your home’s equity will add to your options and benefit you when you want to put it to use. If you expect equity to be significant to the details of your retirement, it may be wise to consider updating the items with the most return on investment — the kitchen, bathrooms, and major home systems — before retirement arrives.

Prepare for Guests

What’s the point of retiring if you can’t have some fun? For many, that means spending more time with friends and family. If that applies to you, consider making improvements to make your guests more comfortable and more likely to visit. Simple updates like a fresh coat of paint and a new mattress can go a long way, as does offering some privacy and independence during their stay. You can also consider going farther and creating a resort-style guest space that can be used as a vacation rental for additional income during part of the year.

Make Space for your Future

Although your full-time career might be coming to an end, you could still have big plans to fill the time. For example, if you plan to work part-time or embrace a new hobby, you’ll need a suitable space to do it successfully. A functional office, organized craft room or sound-absorbing music room could be the most efficient use of your home improvement budget before retiring.

Whether you’re buying, refinancing, or looking to access home equity, start the process with the resources on our website. Then, when you’re ready, our representatives will be waiting to help you find the right path. Call to learn more.

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