Should You Move After Retirement? 5 Questions to Help You Decide

“My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty and that’s the law.”
– Jerry Seinfeld

The day has finally arrived. You’ve clocked out for the last time, scarfed down your last desk lunch, and your last paycheque was deposited to your bank account. Work’s out forever – you’re retired!

Although the Sunshine State may not be at the top of your list these days, you might be entertaining the idea of moving. Because why not? With no more commute to hold you back, and so much flexibility now at your fingertips, the world is kind of your oyster.

It’s a big decision though, and there are a lot of things to consider. Here are five questions to help you decide.

1. How will you spend your newfound free time?

You likely have a lot more freedom these days. So think about what you really love doing (national pandemic aside). What are you passionate about? Whether it’s golfing or gardening, hitting the local coffee shop or shopping downtown, consider if your current location offers a lot of opportunities to enjoy these activities. If not, this may be a check in your “move” column.

Retired grandfather gardening with a small boy

2. Where does your family live?

Your proximity to family might factor into this decision too. Do you live close to your relatives and children now, and would you miss them if you moved? Or would a move make it easier to see family? You might be a caregiver for your grandchildren (current or future), or perhaps the long-distance-grandparent status suits you just fine.

3. To downsize or upsize? That is the question.

Next, you’ll want to think about whether you want to expand your living space or make it a little cosier. Once again, do you have grandkids you need space for? Or maybe you want to throw parties that rival those of the Great Gatsby (again, national pandemic notwithstanding).

According to a 2018 Ipsos survey, two in 10 baby boomer homeowners (those aged 55+) say they have already downsized, while one in three plan to downsize in the next five years or thereafter. Half of them say they do not plan to downsize1 – proof of the growing trend to “age in place.”

Though many retirees seek out a more spacious home or property (and often have a ton of equity to put toward one), downsizing to a townhome or condo could also offer desirable perks, like elevators, indoor fitness facilities, as well as snow removal and landscaping services (if outdoor maintenance isn’t your jam).

Mature man wearing a toolbelt for home renovations

4. Is a fixer-upper in the cards?

If you’ve always dreamt of customizing a home exactly to your liking, you might consider purchasing a fixer-upper – you’ll have plenty of time to tackle the project now that you’ve said goodbye to your 9-5. (Or, you could also sit back and leave the renovations to the professionals!)

Buying a home in need of some TLC may also leave you with some extra cash in your pockets – just make sure to budget accordingly. RenoAssistance by Desjardins estimated in 2020 that in the Greater Toronto Area, large-scale renovations (including kitchen, bathroom, windows, and basement) cost upwards of $100,000.2

Of course, you may simply want to tackle those projects around your current home that you’ve never had time for. A couple of small changes can make a big difference, and you might discover that you’ve been living in your dream home all along.

Retired couple smiling in a sun-filled kitchen

5. Should you cash in while the market’s hot?

The spring markets are sizzling across the country after a year of low interest rates and high demand for houses. Little wonder, then, that many retirees are trading in their home-sweet-homes for serious cash!

Where are they going? Like many others freed by the pandemic from their commutes to work, boomers are selling high in urban areas and buying low in outlying regions. So, if you’re open to a new location, this could be the perfect opportunity to get while the gettin’s good.

Whether you decide to embrace easy-breezy condo living, tackle a fixer-upper, set up shop somewhere entirely new, or stay right where you are, a great new adventure lies ahead.

If you do decide to make the move, Purplebricks can help. Purplebricks supports Canadians by providing full-service real estate experiences with incredible rewards: our sellers save thousands in commission, and our buyers receive $2,000 cash back* when they purchase a home with one of our REALTORS®. Call 1-855-999-9740 to learn more.

1. Ipsos: Canadians Boomers Say Downsizing their Home in Retirement Isn’t a Guaranteed Financial Windfall.
2. The Cost of Renovations.

On December 1, 2021, Purplebricks rebranded to FairSquare Group Realty. Blog articles published before this date were created under the Purplebricks brand but remain the property of FairSquare Group Realty.

In January 2019, ComFree Commonsense Network Brokerage rebranded to Purplebricks.