Whether you’re nearing retirement or are already enjoying seeing work in the rearview mirror, you might be thinking about making home renovations. There are a lot of reasons you could be considering upgrades. You could be thinking about improvements to increase the comfort of your everyday life. You could also be considering home renovations to make necessary health and safety adjustments. No matter the case, taking into account the following five considerations may help you maintain financial health throughout retirement — while experiencing the home you’ve envisioned for yourself.
1. Energy-Efficiency Matters
You should opt for energy-efficient setups and materials whenever possible. Energy-saving windows, for example, are designed to keep hot or cool air inside your home, which will reduce the strain on your heating and cooling systems. This will lower your energy-use costs. Similarly, insulation upgrades can reduce heat and air loss. Other energy-saving areas include high-quality HVAC systems with automated adjustment settings and water systems, such as demand water heaters that offer hot water only as needed. Not only will you save on energy costs, but in many cases, you can claim a tax credit on your tax return for using energy-efficient equipment.
2. Long-Lasting Materials Save Money Long-Term
Choosing durable materials can prevent the need for future repairs, lowering the overall cost of maintenance. When adding a new deck or fence, going with PVC or composite lumber rather than a material such as wood results in less maintenance in the long run. Unlike wood, PVC or composite lumber won’t splinter or crack over time, which is ideal if you plan on living in your retirement home for many years. Inside your home, opting for durable materials can also lower costs. For example, if renovating your kitchen, hard surface counters like granite or man-made materials are easy to clean and maintain.
3. Be Proactive With Injury Risks
Setting up your home to reduce the chance of accidents can lower healthcare costs while increasing your comfort. You could update your bathrooms by adding grab bars making it easier to maneuver, or replace tubs with curbless or low-curb showers to enable you to walk in rather than climbing. Similarly, installing non-slip flooring minimizes your chances of slipping and falling. All of these measures can reduce the possibility of injury. Other renovations could include replacing knobs with D-shaped pulls, which some find easier to grip. Overall, taking preventative action to reduce accidents can make your home more comfortable. Doing so can help lessen the chance you’ll need to make even larger renovations down the line to accommodate reduced mobility.
4. Look Down The Road
If you’ve thought of selling or renting your home in the future, the right home improvement projects may increase the value of your house. Regardless of location, projects such as adding a new deck or modernizing your kitchen and bathroom have the potential to increase the value of your home when you’re prepared to sell.
5. Finance Appropriately
If you cannot afford to pay upfront for your home renovations, you’ll have to find money through other means. Options include a home equity line of credit, which may have a lower interest rate than other loans.. Another possibility is government-backed loans, such as Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle Loan or FHA 203(k) loans. These loans are often secure and have favorable interest rates, but not everyone will qualify.
Some might consider looking for a new home that comes equipped with your desired amenities. This can be a good idea if the cost and inconvenience of the renovation look like they will outweigh the benefits. When possible, planning ahead of time and saving for a renovation makes for a smoother experience all around. You can work a large project into your retirement spending plan by working with an advisor to budget or minimize fixed expenses. With the right planning, you can experience financial well-being while enjoying a new-and-improved home during retirement.