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Add to your retirement savings by downsizing

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For many people in Ontario, their home is the largest investment they will make in their lives. And as seniors are get older, moving past the early retirement years of travel, golf, and catching up on all the things they missed out on when they were busy working, some find their retirement savings just aren’t stretching as far as they had hoped and planned.

With real estate prices across Ontario at near-record highs, especially in the GTA and Southern Ontario, many retirees are discovering that the smartest way to increase the size of their nest egg is to tap into the equity they’ve earned on their homes. Downsizing means selling the family home and moving somewhere smaller, more affordable, and potentially even a rental.

For seniors who bought at the right time, such as the early real estate bust in the 1990s, the returns on GTA real estate can be the most successful part of your retirement portfolio. Taking advantage of those returns can help you live a more secure, comfortable retirement. The average detached home price in the GTA is $900,000. Selling and moving to a smaller space or even a nearby city with cheaper living expenses can add a lot of money to your retirement savings, and help balance out your equity to make it easier to use.

There are lots of great, smaller towns near the GTA where people go to retire, Stratford being one of the top destinations. You may also want to look into finding a high-quality seniors residence in Ontario designed for independent senior living with the capability to accommodate age-in-place living.

More and more seniors are moving into retirement communities to enjoy independent living with neighbours who are similar in age. Condo-style suites are combined with freedom from having to cook and look after housework. Suitable for healthy, active seniors, retirement residences today are focused on providing classes for art, dance, exercise, Tai Chi, and plenty of other physical activities that can help seniors improve their physical health such as balance, bone density, and muscle strength.

 

In addition to physical activities, seniors residences in Ontario today also focus on social activities with seniors of a similar age. An active social life is key to senior health, whether it’s enjoying pub night, playing a game of Bocce ball, or a game of cards. Some seniors residences are even investing in video game systems like the Nintendo Wii because of the way new games combine video, social activity, and physical activity. Wii games include bowling, archery, golf, and other competitive outdoor sports that can become more difficult as you age and your mobility decreases.

Downsizing is a smart move in Ontario, especially given the state of real estate prices today. You can comfortably add to your retirement savings when you downsize, and you have more options than ever. If you’re reluctant to move only to have to move again if your health or mobility suffers, you may want to consider a new style of seniors residence designed for active living with age-in-place options.

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