9 Ways to Cut Housing Costs
By Steve Vernon
Housing costs are one-third of the average American household’s budget, the largest monthly expense for most families. And since reducing living costs is the most common way to make ends meet in retirement, it makes sense to take a hard look at your housing costs.
Since most Americans have insufficient savings to fund a traditional retirement, they’ll need to look for creative ways to make every dollar count, and finding resourceful ways to lower housing costs will help.
Here are nine ways to pare your housing budget:
- Downsize to a smaller house, with reduced bills for utilities, maintenance, and property taxes. You might also be able to realize some home equity that can be invested to generate retirement income.
- Move to a location that enables you to reduce other costs, such as transportation or health care. This could mean moving out of the suburbs and into a city.
- Move to a less expensive part of the country. There are a number of Best Places to Retire sites that you can review some to give you ideas. [Read: Top 10 Retirement Towns for 2011]
- Move to another country with dramatically reduced living costs. Panama, Costa Rica and some South American and European countries consistently show up on lists reviewing best places to live abroad.
- Rent out a room or two for additional income. This solution works best if you don’t want to move and have a large house. After my daughter graduated from college, she rented a room from a retired couple for a year. It was win-win situation: My daughter had inexpensive housing, and the couple realized some extra spending money.
- Share housing with other retirees — the Golden Girls solution. Not only will you share in the cost of housing, but you can also realize savings in regards to your insurance, utilities and even food. Obviously this option isn’t for everyone, but don’t dismiss it without thinking it through.
- Consider a reverse mortgage to help you generate retirement income. This solution works for people who own their house and plan to stay for many years. If you didn’t or don’t plan to buy long-term care insurance, however, I prefer that you keep your home equity in reserve for a day when you could face high bills for long-term care.
Have you considered how to pay for care if you should need it? What if you need home care? You may be healthy now, but if you are 62 or older and looking at the possibility of rising medical costs, prescriptions or home care, then a Reverse Mortgage from IReverse could be the answer. Reverse Mortgages have helped many seniors live stress free in their golden years by using the equity in their homes! Contact us at 800-486-8786 ext 813 to learn how one of your options could be a Reverse Mortgage in The Villages, Florida and the surrounding communities.