“What do I do now?” That is the pointed question posed by many senior adults facing retirement. Many love the idea of endless, hard-earned vacation time. But in the wake of that excitement, there is an unfamiliar amount of quiet time that sets in can leave an uneasy, nagging feeling. With all this free time, you are now able to go see and do, so why not invest in a second home or vacation home to get your travels started? Retirement is a big change, but it paves the way for new and exciting opportunities without the stress and responsibility of a career weighing on your mind, making now the perfect time to make that housing leap.
Did you know that there is a way for seniors to “work smart, not hard,” by just living a typical senior lifestyle? Seniors can still own their own homes and fulfill their retirement wishes, while letting their home investment work for them.
It is a natural step for older adults to find the comfort of a smaller house, and you can do so with your second home while also earning income from your current home. Here are a few ways that your home can be transformed into a money-making opportunity:
- If a senior moves out of their family home in order to downsize, they can keep the former home and rent it out to tenants. If the home is already paid in full, the majority of the rent money can be profit, and the rest will cover any repairs or additional services. If you live in a tourist-friendly area, you can also rent out your home to vacationers. If managing a vacation rental sounds like a ton of work (it can be), bring in a property manager to help. A management company can offer online booking and round-the-clock guest support, and they can have your home professionally cleaned for new guests.
- If the senior is moving to a single-story home for easier management, they can purchase a home with an extra bedroom or two, which can be rented to tenants. Their tenants will help soften the mortgage payments and might provide a little peace of mind for the seniors because they will have another person living in their home. The renters may even be willing to do a little yard work in exchange for a decrease in their rent. You can also rent out your second home during times when you are not using it for a little extra cash.
If any of these ideas sparks your interest, seek out a realtor who can help you find the home that suits the needs of your new venture. Discuss home options in your preferred communities as well as the age and condition of the home. Realtors can also connect you to a lender or financial advisor who can help figure out the monetary details. Your mortgage and the value of the homes in your area can help you decide how much you should charge for rent.
One of these business ideas may be your answer for “What do I do now?” Your first step can be as easy as budgeting for movers, boxes, tape, markers, and the celebratory purchase of a planner. Make the most of your senior years by earning some extra income from your home.
Written by Hazel Bridges
Creator of AgingWellness.org