Thinking about whether the house you’re currently living in is suitable for retirement is an important to consider. Many downsize, but should you?…

While your house remains your castle, there comes the time we need to adapt it. Getting your home ready for retirement is all about thinking ahead and future proofing your home and lifestyle for what may come.Not something we like to think about, but getting older has some disadvantages. For one, when we retire, we stop earning a wage and money becomes more of an issue. Secondly, our bodies become less physically able to perform the same tasks they have always done. Taking the time to sit down and identify the potential issues we may face in retirement is well spent during our 50’s and early 60’s. We’re here to help, so let’s get started!

Getting Your Home Ready for Retirement – Planning

Retirement is changing. In the days of our grandparents, they worked till their 60’s and then died shortly afterwards. Nowadays we retire later, are more active and stay in our homes for longer. We are also generally more financially well off, thanks to retirement schemes such as KiwiSaver. But like most people, we don’t like to face the truth that we’re getting old and things are going to change. Because of this, we fail to make plans in advance. We’ve put together a list of the things you’ll meed to consider in regards to your home as you age.

  • steps and stairs – hard to navigate, may require you move your bedroom to a lower level
  • door handle types – round handles are hard to open, flat handles are best
  • floor plans – open plan homes are easier to navigate
  • types of flooring – fixed non-slip flooring is essential
  • joinery – wooden joinery may be too heavy to open and requires additional maintenance
  • doorway width – are your doorways wide enough to allow wheelchair access?
  • shower access – is the shower a walk in model?
  • front door access – are there any narrow paths or stairs in the way?
  • electrical outlet placement – avoid bending down by having power points placed higher up the wall
  • regular maintenance requirements
  • heating source – a wood fire may no longer be suitable
  • outdoor area – large gardens and lawns require additional maintenance
  • home size – do you need such a big space or should you downsize?

5 Tasks to Get Your Home Ready for Your Retirement

Here are five tasks you can take today to start getting your home ready for retirement. They are:

  1. Decide whether you are going to downsize or stay where you are. Hiring a quantity surveyor to inspect your home, identify areas of maintenance and renovations required to ensure it is suitable as you age, is a good investment.
  2. Book a locksmith to perform an inspection on your door and window locks. They’ll have ideas about how you can improve the security of your property. They can also change any door handles to easier opening ones too.
  3. Hire a landscape gardener to transform your outdoor areas into attractive, but low maintenance spaces.
  4. Do any renovations now! In five years time, your health may not be as good as it is now. By completing home renovations now, you get enjoyment from the result and peace of mind knowing it’s all taken care of. This particularly includes your bathroom – think about flat, non-slippery and easy access areas.
  5. Pay off your mortgage. Now this isn’t a DIY house task, but it makes sense to reduce your costs for when you do retire. If you don’t need to worry about paying for housing, you’ll be better off financially.

How do you think your home is placed as it stands today for your retirement? Can you sit back and relax or do you have a list of jobs a mile long? Our tradies would love to help you cross those jobs off your list. Post your jobs today and make getting your home ready for retirement simple.