Stephanie Stefanovic

It’s certainly not uncommon to hear of retirees selling their homes and moving into condos or retirement villages. In fact, it’s often expected. After all, more space means more upkeep, which can seem like unnecessary hassle if the space is going unused. However, there are plenty of people who are attached to their family home, and have no desire to give it up.

On one hand, relocating can mean the opportunity to finally move to that sleepy coastal town you’ve always loved, where the air is clean and the people are friendly. However, there’s no doubt that this is a big endeavour. Selling your home (and hopefully getting a good price), transporting all of your possessions, and leaving precious memories behind are some of the things you’ll be dealing with if you relocate. It’s tough on everyone, but seniors can be especially affected if they’ve been living in one particular dwelling for the majority of their lives. Not to mention the complete exhaustion that often comes with moving!

For these reasons, there has been a growing trend towards ‘aging in place’. Many of today’s retirees are questioning the once-expected notion of relocation, and are instead choosing to simply renovate their existing home in order to make it more accessible. In some ways, renovating offers the best of both worlds. It means you can stay in a familiar place (if that’s your preference), yet also live in a space that fits your needs as you age. Things like installing slip-resistant flooring, improved lighting, handrails for the stairs and bathroom, and even downgrading your property to one storey are examples of the changes you could make. Whether you want to invest the money however, is up to you. Renovating can be a big expense, so you’ll have to decide if it’s worth it.

If you’re the adventurous type, looking to start the next chapter of your life in your dream location, relocating sounds like it’s the option for you. But if you’re more of a sentimental type who would like to keep friends and family close, renovating your existing home may be a better choice. Either way, these are your golden years – make the best of them!