Is bigger always better? In today’s Two-Minute Retirement Solution, Steve McDonald challenges this common refrain – especially when it comes to retirement lifestyles.
Steve takes a look at a new trend that’s popping up across the country. They’re called mini-houses and, according to those who have moved into them, the release from the burden of chores and maintenance is remarkably liberating. Could a move into a mini-house be the right choice for you?
Many of us dream of the day we can sell the big house, move to a warmer climate and, at the same time, cut expenses to make our nest last longer.
It’s a great idea, with lots of benefits beyond spending a lot less time cleaning and maintaining the big money pit.
Well, some have taken that idea to a new extreme.
Enter the 150-square-foot mini-house or mini-apartment. Yes, 150 square feet, not yards. And people report they love them.
These have traditionally been the choice of Gen Xers in the northwest U.S. and the Carolinas who are looking to simplify their lives and reduce their footprints.
But an increasing number of retirees looking for freedom from the chores, costs and maintenance a traditional home requires are choosing minis, too.
Of course reducing the cost of living is the primary consideration for most retirees who make this choice, but prioritizing what you want to spend your money on is just as much of a driving factor.
Those big tax bills, plus maintenance and repair costs, can really cut into everyone’s travel and entertainment plans.
And when you consider that almost 60% of workers have saved less than $100,000, and 24% have saved less than $1,000, there will have to be some serious cost-cutting in their golden years if they are going to make it.
Of course, as you probably already assumed, there are required lifestyle changes if you are to make a mini-home work; no more trips to Sam’s Club for a year’s worth of toilet paper or paper towels, and no large wardrobes.
But that can force a reduction in impulse buying. A big positive! If there’s no room for it, there’s no excuse to buy it.
But the most novel reason I have found to make the big downsize move is for something called a Granny cottage. These are perfect for the person who wants to be closer to their family. Really close!
A Granny cottage is designed to be planted in the backyard of one of your children’s big homes.
Just to be safe, check out this option with both your child and his or her spouse. These could also easily be renamed divorce cottages, too.
The cost of these beauties range from as low as $10,000 to $100,000, compared to $200,000 for the average home. And the possibilities for locations are endless.
So, if your retirement includes downsizing to spend your money on something other than the upkeep of a home, take a look at minis. You can’t argue with the costs, and their owners have described them as being tremendously liberating.