So the children have left the nest and you are beginning to think more of retirement. Your home has been the epicenter for family memories and the gathering spot for years.
How do you look at your home now? Do all those repairs stare you in the face? Is your landscaping in need of a facelift after a freeze or neglect? Does your family still want to come to the family home or do they prefer other places to gather?
My husband, Lane, and I faced this reality lately. We have built three homes over our 40 plus years of marriage, thinking each one was the “it” home. However, job opportunities, children coming in multiples, and more enticing neighborhoods kept us busy building different homes.
In the fall of 2020, un-expectantly our realtor friend called to tell us he might have a buyer for our home. The house was not listed. We had toyed with the idea of selling this home as our children live in Houston, Boston, DC, and Denver and it is difficult for the out-of-state children to get to Victoria. We are also getting older and can work virtually from anywhere. During COVID-19, we were not meeting face-to-face with our clients anyway, but virtually.
The benefit of dissolving this house was a cost-saving on the maintenance, utilities on space we were not using, taxes and insurance. Quite a cost-benefit that could equate to some travels, which is how I equate everything. We could also purge belongings that we knew would be a delight to our children, as they do not want to suffer through all these things upon our demise.
We accepted this offer and made the difficult decisions to toss, donate, or relocate items. We have had a bay house in Rockport for over 20 years and thought we could commute from there to Victoria until we figured out everything. We also had purchased a vacation home in Santa Fe years ago that we had pegged for some of those twilight years, years from now.
So, if your goal in this next journey of life is to live more affordably and focus your money on how you want to live, selling the family home could help realize these dreams by socking that money away or retiring the mortgage and perhaps other debt.
There also could be a tax benefit if you have a capital gain from the sale of your main home. You may qualify to exclude up to $250,000 of that gain from your income, or up to $500,000 of that gain if you file a joint return with your spouse.
We made some tough choices that were very freeing financially and emotionally. Traveling more is always my goal, but moving closer to children or moving to a 55 and older community are also on our minds as well as other future retirees. Speak with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional to help guide you with these decisions.
Published in the Victoria Advocate
Phyllis Keller, MBA is the Chief Information Officer for KMH Wealth Management, LLC and Keller & Associates CPAs PLLC.