Hold on or move on in retirement?

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My recent blog posts have discussed where to live in retirement, and how that decision can come up more than once, with the retirement two-step. Today’s post considers a related aspect of where to live in retirement and the decision to sell the family home.

I have a family member considering that step — my dad. Twice widowed, and living in the same home he’s lived in since 1969, it’s been a difficult decision for him. On the other hand, his children have been lobbying for this day for the past 2 to 3 years.

Now that that decision is made, it triggers a host of other senior living decisions. Where to next? Should he continue to age in place, just in a new place, or relocate to be closer to family?

He doesn’t want to move in with family. It doesn’t help that his three children live in three different states with none living in his community, or even his home state.

Renting versus buying is another decision. What’s available and affordable in the area where he decides to live is a consideration. So is choosing among active adult communities, independent living communities or continuing care retirement communities if he wants to live in a senior-centric community.

The decision to rent can have some interesting issues down the road for seniors who sell their family home, because Medicaid doesn’t consider the equity you have in your personal residence in the decision whether you qualify for Medicaid, but it would consider the proceeds from the sale of the family home held in savings or investments in the qualification decision. Future blog posts will talk about this issue in greater depth. Qualifying for Medicaid becomes important for seniors sho don’t have long-term-care insurance because Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care.

If you’ve retired, did you hold on to or move on from your family home?

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