Retirement represents a major transition in a person’s life — one that comes with a lot of decisions. Chief among those may be the choice of where to live. While downsizing has been a common move for retirees in the past, many are now finding themselves “smart-sizing” instead. 

The concept of smart-sizing is about figuring out the location and type of home that makes the most sense, not only for your budget but for your desired retirement lifestyle. As you decide on your home needs for retirement, there are a few factors to consider. 


The location of your home can play a major role in your retirement lifestyle. You may consider moving closer to friends and family or moving into an active living community where you can build new social circles. A home in a centralized area with easy access to public transportation may prove important, especially if you have mobility challenges. If you’re planning to spend your retirement traveling, living near an airline hub could make your goals more accessible. 

Safety and mobility

If you plan to stay in your home throughout your later years, it’s important to plan ahead. While you can’t anticipate how your physical needs and mobility will change, there are some common accommodations you can make now to serve you in the future. Features like entryway ramps, grab bars in bathrooms and showers, and non-slip flooring could be helpful. With a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM), you could tap into some of your home’s equity to pay for upgrades and renovations that will help you comfortably age in place. 

Maintenance and amenities

As you consider the kind of lifestyle you want to lead in retirement, think about how much work you want to put into your home. You may consider a condo if you’re looking to eliminate day-to-day maintenance and yard work, or a newer home that will come with minimal upkeep. If you decide your current home won’t meet your needs, a HECM for purchase can help you get into the right place for your next chapter. 

When it comes to your retirement home, size matters, but other considerations can be just as important to your daily life. Are you ready to make a move or start a renovation project? You’ll need a trusted lender to help you get started. Contact Open Mortgage today.

Things to know about Reverse Mortgages:

  • At the conclusion of a reverse mortgage, the borrower must repay the loan and may have to sell the home or repay the loan from other proceeds
  • Charges will be assessed with the loan, including an origination fee, closing costs, mortgage insurance premiums and servicing fees
  • The loan balance grows over time and interest is charged on the outstanding balance
  • The borrower remains responsible for property taxes, hazard insurance and home maintenance, and failure to pay these amounts may result in the loss of the home
  • Interest on a reverse mortgage is not tax-deductible until the borrower makes partial or full re-payment
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