Certain home renovations help provide for a more comfortable retirement. While you may have more time to perform these renovations after you retire, you may not always have the energy.
Not to mention, ongoing construction projects can become cumbersome and even dangerous. As such, it is beneficial to consider making these renovations before your retirement begins. This may also make these projects easier to pay for and cause less of an imposition.
Some improvements help make the home more accessible when the years start to wear on your body. Others help produce an income stream when your primary source of income is limited to retirement savings. Still, others simply make life more comfortable and accommodating for you and your guests as you start spending more time at home. Discover which improvements you wish to make before retirement, and when you finally retire, you can thank yourself for years to come.
1. Accessibility Improvements
As your capacity to function independently starts to wane, you may find your home easier to manage if you incorporate accessibility features into your residence. For example, replace regular handles and door knobs with ones designed for people with arthritis in their hands. This makes them easier to grasp and turn. You can also add extra lighting to key work areas like bathroom vanities and the kitchen.
Related article: Enhancing Your Home for Seniors and People With Disabilities
Accessibility upgrades on a grander scale include lowering the toilets in the bathrooms, installing safety grab bars and changing out bathtubs for walk-in showers large that accommodate wheelchairs or other seats. While you may never end up needing these improvements, having them already in place in case you do keeps you safe and in your home without undue upheaval and interruption.
2. Income Additions
If you add another living space to your home before retirement, even if you never use it yourself, you have a space you can rent out after retirement to earn an extra income. For instance, you can convert a basement into a rental apartment, or simply turn a child’s bedroom and hall bath into a rental suite. The extra income can help support you, especially when maintaining a larger home.
3. Guest Accommodations
If your home does not yet include a guest room, you may want to find a room to convert into one before you retire. That way, friends and family alike can come and visit you in retirement. Further, a guest room allows someone to stay in your home to help take care of you if the need ever arises.
Related article: Four Great Home Renovation Ideas for Empty Nesters
An old office, den or children’s bedroom that is no longer in use can make an ideal guest room.
If you already have a guest room but it lacks a private bath, you can add an en suite bathroom to make it more accommodating to guests and support longer stays.
4. Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades
When it comes to home renovations, kitchen and bathroom upgrades give you the greatest return on your investment. They can also cause the greatest upheaval in your daily living while they are under construction. Therefore, the best time to take care of kitchen and bathroom upgrades is while you are still working, and thus out of the home more often.
Once you start your retirement and are home most of the time, such renovations can cause a much bigger inconvenience. Easy upgrades that give you a big bang for your buck include modernizing the finish on appliances and of course, accessibility upgrades.
5. Energy-Efficiency Upgrades
The sooner you make your home more energy-efficient, the sooner you start saving money to apply toward a more comfortable retirement. Examples of this includes adding:
- Better insulation in the attic or basement.
- Installing solar panels on your roof.
If efficiency upgrades are part of your plan, make no delay in starting and completing these improvements. The earlier you start, the more you can save in the long run.
6. Security Upgrades
When you spend more time at home during your retirement years, security can be even more paramount. Upgrading the security of your home now can give you lasting peace of mind when you need it most. You can start by taking a look at your windows and doors, and see what can be done to make them more secure.
For example, double or triple-hung windows and double or triple-pane glass is more than just energy-efficient, it is also more secure. Installing doors with more secure locks can also be an investment that pays in restful nights. For the ultimate in-home security upgrades, consider installing a full home security system before you retire.
7. Porch or Deck
The time to install a new porch or deck, or upgrade your existing one, is before you retire. This way, you can actually make good use of it once retirement begins. Since you spend more time at home in your retirement, why not give yourself more space in which to enjoy it? Porches and decks add extra living space to your home while also giving you easier and safer access to the outdoors.
With a porch or deck, you can enjoy the sun without the risk of tripping or slipping and falling on unsteady, unstable ground. If you already have a porch or a deck, consider covering it or screening it in. This extends the seasonal life of the space, as you can then enjoy it even in rainy or buggy weather.
8. Major Exterior Renovations
If you need to repair or replace the siding, foundation or roof of your home, take care of it before you retire. These can be some of the most expensive and trying renovations to undergo, and the last thing you want to deal with in your retirement is replacing a roof or shoring up a foundation. The benefit is that you enter retirement with a solid, secure structure in which to enjoy your time.
9. Automatic Garage Door
After all these major renovations to consider, here is a simple one that can save you physical strain later on. Install an automatic garage door opener on your garage so you do not have to risk hurting yourself to open and close it.
Related article: Four Most Common Garage Door Repairs and Average Costs
By Mathew Sams –