I've been retired for the past 3.5 years. I had to adopt my 3 grandkids 7,8, & 10. I'm currently renting which feels awkward because I've own my own home since the day I turned 21. I feel kids should have some place to call their own. The rent that I'm paying should easily pay any mortgage payment. My only hesitancy is at my age do I really want the stress of starting over again in a new home? On the other hand am I being selfish in not considering my grandkid's needs? I didn't mention that I'm a single grandfather raising the 3 kids on my own.
Thanks for starting a discussion thread! Your situation is very unique; however, I’d like to direct you to a few discussion threads that touch on the topic of mortgage in retirement:
Re: Mortgage at retirement
Pay Off Mortgage or Beef up retirement
Additionally, check out the many comments on this blog post:
What will happen if you carry a mortgage in retirement?
Thanks for the additional info. If I didn't have the additional responsibility my decision would be an easy one. I still would buy a home but a smaller one. The rent I'm paying would easily pay a payment. If I had to have financing I would look for one with a 5 year term or less.
I'd also like to introduce you to bamagirl, who shared that she is in a similar situation as you in her introduction: My Introduction.
Doing the "right thing" is a good decision, some would simply say "it's not my problem"! There are many articles on rent vs. buy; I struggle with this all the time. I like your idea of downsizing and buying. I think that's what I would do. Good luck to you, you're a good guy.
Hope you sometimes do get a break (from caring grandkids).
I do. My sister and some other volunteers have stepped up to give me some needed R&R
You amaze me! Don't think I could do what you accepted. I hope that you have lots of moral and real support.
By no means am I a hero. I’ve always tried to error on the side of what’s right as a oppose to what’s convenient. In doing so I’ve been blessed with everything I need except “me time”. For that I’ve been able to find volunteers that will babysit and give me some needed time to myself. Looking at the big picture I guess I’ve been completely blessed.
Funny how nowadays a house (as a home) is viewed as a necessity, whereas when I was a little boy, I lived in an apartment and shared a room with my brother and grandmother; we got along just fine. Did not move into a house until my parents finally built one, I was almost 18.
I think the last thing you need during retirement is a house, no matter how good a condition it is. You will need to shovel snow, cut grass and that is the easy part, how about fixing the hot water heater in the middle of the night, because of a leak, or having to pay an exhorbitant service charge to a plumber because you can no longer change a trap.
Use the money you would have paid for the house and either live off it, or better yet invest it. Then you will know every month what your expenses are, and if you want to take a trip, you do not need to worry about leaving the lights on or removing advertisements from your mailbox.
I rent, have access to a gym, have a reserved parking place for my vehicle, and anytime anything goes wrong, I call the office and have the technician fix it. Granted I sometimes have a neighbor with a barking dog, but most often a simple call to the office and they send a letter asking the perp. to calm things down.
Sorry if you are set on a house, but I just love my life and the freedom of renting. Plus when I am gone, it will make things a lot easier on my kids, no probate needed, even with a will.
I'm not sure if you saw this, but an article on the Woman2Woman community may be helpful: Older Parents, Younger Children. The article touches on a variety of areas that older parents (or grandparents raising children) should take into consideration, including insurance, estate planning, paying for college and saving for retirement.
Just got your comment about "Older Parents, Younger Children" and I find it thought provoking to say the least.
At the risk of being politically non-correct, I would like to add this comment: I believe that part of the problem we are facing today, such as young adults going on shooting sprees, an increase in allergic reactions, increased cases of autism and other ADD issues, I believe these problems stem from folks waiting longer and longer to have children.
I am not an MD so I cannot speak for women who choose to have a baby at a later age, but as a man, I can guarantee that the male sperm quality is heavily dependent on age as well as other factors, including smoking, alcohol, poor diet, as well as stress, which cumulatively destroy this quality over time.
If women want to have their children later rather than sooner, and I can understand this tendency for both narcissistic as well as economic reasons, then they should have much younger husbands or have their husbands save their sperm in their younger years in a sperm bank, for later retrieval.
I realize I am treading on sensitive ground, but ignoring the problem will not make it go away.
revpete, I wish you all the best in your adventure, chosen or not. Life does have a way, doesn't it. To say nothing of God!
When I retired near 10 years ago, I was in a position which (on the surface) sounds similar to yours. I was faced with "adopting" a 14 y o girl who was carrying all sorts of problems. That didn't work out too well. In fact it was awful for us both ... woulda, coulda, shoulda I guess. But when the girl crashed and burned at 18 y o, I built/bought a house, which we (her mom and I) love.
The house was a dream fulfilled for us both ... it was my 6th house actually, but it was the modernist, glass, I've always wanted but couldn't afford. I have it now and am currently remodeling the office ... two more rooms to go and it's all done.
But for me/us, the house was a relief and a dream, not a source of stress and not accompanied by any sense of obligation ... I think in your circumstance, a nice apartment in a good neighborhood might be the most practical solution, but you have to be decided by your needs and desires, not some sense of obligation ... that could backfire, I think.
I wish you the very best in your child's future.
Thanks for your comments . Your key statement about being God led. I've done just that throughout this process . I've owned my own home since the day I turned? 21. I've been renting since my divorce. Like you I love to remodel/ peddle around my own home. It may not be practical but for my own peace of mind I'm going to start looking for a home to purchase. That's unless God leads me in another direction.
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My hat is lifted up for you. You have taken on an awesome responsibility at this point in your life. For me, if I had to do this awesome task, I would do it also with any regrets. My advice to you is to keep in mind this is your time in life and you do not need to accrue any additional debt if you do not want to. The children do have a place to come to at this time. Whether you are renting or buying what matters is that you are all together. As we age, I worry about accruing too much debt. I do not want to leave my family with this burden.
You have to weigh all of the odds and see what choice is right for you. I would say "No" that you are not being selfish at all. To me, selfish would be not to make room for your grandchildren. Owing property is good. But I do believe that as we age and begin to transition in our lives taking on too much debt is not a good thing .
There are some advantages to renting, such as not having to worry about all the maintenance that goes along with home ownership, especially as we age.
I would put the decision to buy/rent as more of a lifestyle decision depending on one's financial circumstances.
On the financial side persons talk about cutting the grass, shovel the snow, and other maintenance, just hire someone to do that for you. Construction repairs may be another issue depending on where you live for the costs. If you are handy they are not a big issue if like we are doing is getting al the mechanicals replaced prior to retiring for good. The wife and I enjoy entertaining our families and extended families and an apartment would not be condusive to being able to host these events. We also plan on having the house completely paid for when we totally retire which is close.
If you have limited financial means and a large mortgage then renting might be better.
IMO, it is a lifestyle and financial decision married together.
Everyone has to evaluate their own circumstances when it comes to renting vs buying.
Thank you for sharing this information.
ZZ, this is the most cogent answer to this question that I have read so far. If you are single, you might not do as much entertaining as a couple might. So it makes more sense to rent if you are single, but then again, it is a question of finances and lifestyle, e.g., are your offspring or relatives going to visit and for how long, etc. Thanks for your input!
I've appreciate reading everyone's comments and they have been very helpful. To bring you up to date on my thinking.
I'm now more inclined to buy a home for some of the reasons that ZZ mentioned. I'm at a point where I'm entertaining more and more. My grandkids are social animals and love to have family and friends visit. My adult children live out of town and enjoy coming home and staying with us rather than in a hotel. I'm blessed with youthful vitality despite my age. I'm also very handy so home repairs would not be an issue. Because the housing market is so depressed I feel confident I can find a home with a short term mortgage for less or equal to what I'm paying for rent. Things change but I continue to be prayful. I'll let you know as things progress.
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