18 May 2015

Design with retirement income in mind

Lifestyle | Tips and Advice

greenslopes home renovation retirement incomeRight now the design of your home most likely suits you and your current level of income, but will it be suitable when you no longer have that income? Will the design of your current home suit you when you are living off your retirement income?

Few people consider this, but it’s a very valid question.

The mindset of some of the people I speak to is that they will sell and downsize when they retire. But it’s been my experience that many retirees need a little more space when they are no longer working. Sure some spend time living a nomadic travelling lifestyle, but others instead simply stay at home and take up hobbies or other interests which often consume more space.

But what if you don’t need more space and you don’t intend on selling up and downsizing?

Well for many people this can spell trouble. Even if you own your own home when you retire, the cost of rates, maintenance and everyday running costs can be quite a burden when your income drops once you stop working.

So what is the solution?

Well, there are a few ways that your current home can be designed to suit your post-retirement income levels.

If your block is large enough, one option is to subdivide it. You can then either sell the block alone or build on the block and sell it as a home and land package. Another option is to build on it and rent the dwelling out giving you an ongoing income stream providing it’s positively geared. Another very viable option that is growing in popularity is dual living renovations.

Dual Living

Dual living renovations allow an existing home to be split into two separate dwellings allowing the owners to live in one-half of the home while renting out the other half. Renovations of this nature can be relatively inexpensive with the benefit of providing an ongoing income stream throughout your retirement. And with careful selection of your tenant, you can have an added benefit of security knowing someone is right next door (particularly if you do want to do some extended travelling).

Secondary Dwelling

A further option is a secondary dwelling/separate house addition. The recent Brisbane City Plan 2014 has made it easier to get approval for the construction of additional dwellings on your existing block of land. The benefits of this approach are many, including the fact that your outlay is much lower than it would be for a separate investment property. You already own the land. All you’re paying for now are design, approvals, materials and construction. You lose yard space, which isn’t ideal if you love gardening, but for some people, the reduced backyard maintenance is a bonus.

Retirement Income | Energy Costs

Running costs are another important consideration. Homes that require a lot of artificial heating or cooling are only going to become more expensive to run in coming years. And keep in mind your current power, gas and water bills are probably based on you being at work for a large part of the day and probably during the hottest part of the day. Imagine how much higher they could get when you’re at home all day, particularly in the hotter months. And as the years go on you might find you need things like air-conditioning a lot more than you do right now.

With all of that in mind, it pays to ensure that your home is as energy and water efficient as possible. Renovating now while prices are low to improve the energy efficiency of your home is a smart investment and one that can make a significant difference during your retirement years.

So if you’re getting close to the age of retirement, or perhaps you’ve retired already and just want to live more comfortably, then you really should consider contacting dion seminara architecture today. Now is the perfect time to look at all your options to ensure that your home is truly an asset when you retire and not a financial burden. Contact us today and allow us to help you make the most of your retirement years.

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Award-Winning Lifestyle Design Architects Brisbane <br> Est. 1993

Award-Winning Lifestyle Design Architects Brisbane
Est. 1993

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