Equally important to a comfortable retirement is not just the money you have, but also the expenses you’re tallying up, too. And reducing your monthly bills can be a powerful tool for savers who are either behind on savings or simply looking to do more with less.
If you’re serious about cutting expenses, the most obvious place to look for savings is your home.
“Often a house is the most valuable asset that people have, so it is the source of potential wealth in retirement,” Lori Trawinski, director of banking and finance with AARP’s Public Policy Institute.
However, she adds that downsizing is not necessarily right or even feasible for everyone.
“There are costs involved in downsizing,” Trawinski said, including Realtor fees and closing costs if you sell. Also, if you sell you may have to fix up your home to put it on the market, or you may need to make renovations in any new home to make it livable.
Yes, there are potential savings by moving to a smaller place, even for someone with a significant mortgage or even someone who rents. But if you’re near retirement you should do some careful calculations before deciding to downsize.