Who’s Downsizing? Not These Retirees

Photo (cc) by Team Lane

Bigger is often better when it comes to choosing a home for the golden years.

Contrary to a common belief, half of American retirees didn’t downsize in their last move, according to a new home retirement study by Merrill Lynch. In fact, 30 percent of those surveyed favored moving into a larger home. One of the study’s focus group participants said:

After our kids left home, we got an even bigger house. We have kids and grandkids all over the country and wanted space for them to visit.

The study also projected that retirees and others nearing retirement age (every day, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65) will have a big impact on the housing market in the United States. In fact, during the next 10 years, senior households (ages 65 and older) will make up nearly all the household growth.

Andy Sieg, head of Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions for Merrill Lynch, said in a statement:

How and where our nation’s aging population chooses to live will have widespread implications on the way homes are designed, the resources people will need, and how communities and businesses nationwide should prepare. For most retirees, their home is more than just a financial consideration – it’s a place where family and community come together, and can represent treasured memories or independence.

Two-thirds of retirees said they’re living in the “best home of their lives.”

Other study highlights include:

  • Home sweet home. Despite what you might think, not all retirees are rushing off to Florida, Arizona and other warm weather states. Of retirees who moved last year, 83 percent stayed in the same state.
  • Home improvements. Households of those ages 55 and older make up nearly half (47 percent) of all spending on home renovations in the United States. Although some home renovations are age-friendly improvements (10 percent) such as wider hallways, bathroom grab bars and ramps, the most common improvements are creating a home office (35 percent) and improving curb appeal (34 percent).
  • Senior neighborhoods? About two-thirds (67 percent) of retirees said they prefer to live in neighborhoods with diverse ages. Just 7 percent of retired Americans live in age-restricted communities.

Are you retired? Where do you live? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

If you’re heading into retirement with plans to stay in your own home, you may find yourself approached about a reverse mortgage. Watch this video to learn about this option, and some alternatives:

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 U.S. Jobs That Are Disappearing Fastest
10 U.S. Jobs That Are Disappearing Fastest

Think twice before pursuing these shrinking occupations.

20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees
20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees

Maybe you’re not ready to leave the workplace entirely.

9 Foods You Should Never Buy Again
9 Foods You Should Never Buy Again

Make the wrong food choices, and you can ruin your health — and possibly shorten your life.

3 Ways a Health Savings Account Can Improve Your Finances
3 Ways a Health Savings Account Can Improve Your Finances

Open an HSA in minutes to help you save on taxes, cover medical expenses and grow your retirement nest egg.

3 Reasons You Can’t Rely on Medicare Alone
3 Reasons You Can’t Rely on Medicare Alone

Counting on Medicare to cover health care costs can jeopardize your retirement plans.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19
Do This in the Car If You Want to Avoid COVID-19

It takes just seconds to take this simple preventive measure.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It
15 Products You Need — Even If You Didn’t Know It

Discover some must-have products on Amazon that you didn’t even know you were missing.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.