Everyone looks forward to their retirement. After several decades of working for the same company, caring for children, and saving money, you finally get time to yourself; whether you decide to travel around the world or develop your hobbies, the choice is utterly yours.
Though your entire life will have shifted, your home will remain the same. The average retirement age is 63, which means you’ll be living in a home designed for a big family and organized for activity almost exclusively in the evenings despite the fact that you’re now comfortably in your 60s and have the whole day — and an empty house — to yourself. To avoid bringing your old life into your new one, a renovation is in order!
While you may be eager to jump into this project headfirst, it’s better to start small and work your way up. In addition to taking your finances into account (not everyone can drop $20,000 on a kitchen renovation the day after they’ve been downgraded to a pension), consider what little things have spent years on that honey-do list: fix the leaky faucet in the bathroom, upgrade the shag rug that you bought to celebrate your first child’s birth, and freshen up your faded walls with a new coat of paint. You’ll be amazed at how liberating completing these simple tasks can be.
Once you’ve got the remodel bug (and know what kind of effort it entails), it’s time to dream big! Think about all the things you wish you could’ve had in years past; whether it’s new siding or a deck addition, you’re now free to pursue your home fantasies.
If you’re not sure if you’re going to remain in your original house (many feel the need to downsize when only they and their spouse remain), you can focus on things that will add value. This could be anything from a minor kitchen remodel or a finished basement to an upgraded HVAC system With only two-thirds of all homes having air conditioners, that HVAC system can add quite a bit of value. Replacing your flooring with solid strand bamboo is a great investment because of its strength — it is three times harder than oak.
If you’re committing to this home for the long haul, it’s wise to think about how your bodies and lifestyle may change as you grow older. Even if you were active before retirement and plan to continue your exercise routine, including a built-in shower chair or grab bar will make the next decades just a little bit easier. If your bedroom is currently on the second floor, you may want to think about bringing it down to the ground level — especially now that there are no kiddies taking up space. Neglecting these minor adaptations could result in pain and frustration down the road.
Studies have revealed that people define a “happy home” as: a space where you feel secure (69%), a place where you can relax (64%), and a place where you are free to be yourself (57%). At the end of the day, that’s exactly what retirement living is all about; it only makes sense that your home would reflect such feelings.