10 Reasons Why Retired People Should Rent An Apartment Instead of Buying It

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1. Tap your home equity. When you sell your home and become a renter, you can add that home equity to your nest egg, which could significantly improve your retirement finances. “Selling the home and renting gives you capital that is able to produce and earn income,” says Neal Van Zutphen, a certified financial planner and president of Intrinsic Wealth Counsel in Mesa, Ariz. 

2. Downsize to a smaller place. Once your children move out of the house, you don’t need as much space or stuff. “Downsizing to a living space more appropriate for current needs can be additionally helpful if moving from a multi-story to single-story home, i.e., eliminating stairs,” says Andrew Carle, founding director of George Mason University’s Senior Housing Administration.

3. Lower living cost. Retirees no longer need to live in expensive areas near the office or in good school districts. Sometimes moving even a short distance can result in a drastically lower cost of living.

4. Outsource home maintenance. In many serviced apartments for rent, it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the property, including the lawn, exterior of the building and many of the appliances. You are shifting the burden of home maintenance and repair to the landlord, this includes interior, but also exterior things like lawn maintenance and snow removal.

5. One phone call for repairs. When something breaks, you just simply call the landlord or administration office of the rental apartment and put in a maintenance request. “A lot goes wrong with older homes and that’s why a lot of people want to relocate,” says Debra Drelich, a geriatric care manager and founder of New York Elder Care Consultants. “You don’t have to deal with it when things break – you just call the super.”

6. Live near the amenities you use. Some retirees choose to relocate to a walkable location near stores, parks, and recreational opportunities. It can be useful to base yourself near public transportation in case you reach a point when you no longer want to drive.

7. Relocate near family. Retirement can be an opportunity to move closer to your children and grandchildren. “If you rent an apartment close to your family or children or grandchildren, you have less travel expenses to see family,” Van Zutphen says. You can also help each other with childcare and eldercare as needed.

8. More flexibility. Renting an apartment instead of buying it gives you the flexibility to experience a new location or lifestyle without a long-term commitment. “Renting gives you an opportunity to try out a place and see what a place is really like to live in,” Van Zutphen says. 

9. Find age-appropriate features. Retirees can select apartments with amenities that will allow them to live independently for as long as possible. Features to look for include apartments with a minimum amount of stairs, convenient laundry facilities and handles in the shower. 

10. Extra help is sometimes available. Some senior housing arrangements allow you to live independently for as long as you are able to, and then offer increasing levels of services as you need them. Many senior communities also offer the added bonus of social activities for residents and a chance to make friends.(Source: Emily Brandon, money.usnews.com)
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