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When Buying A Home Hurts Your Retirement Plans

Written by Posted On Monday, 14 August 2017 16:48

When I first got into real estate one of my first clients and friends (now) is a Financial Planner. His name is Beau Henderson and he explained to me about the retirement years and the needs of his clients.   One such area was our differring opinions on "the paid off house."  At the time I was a huge Dave Ramsey fan and believed that everyone should have a paid off home.   However, there's a danger in buying a home particularly as you start to think about retirment and it's not one size fits all. 

One potential risk is buying too much of a home.  While this does not have to make you house poor, it can limit savings in earlier years. Most American's don't seriously start saving for retirement until their 50's. Buying a large home in your 30's can limit or eliminate your savings plan all together. If you were looking at Florida Islands to retire to, you might have to ratchet it back to a home inland and look at homes in Davenport if you buy too big of a home initially.  In addition, buying a larger home requires more maintenance, more maintenance usually means eating into your emergency fund. Dave Ramsey recommends 3 or more months as an emergency fund. These can get eaten up real quick if your water heater breaks or one of your 3 air condition units goes out on a larger home.  

Other things to think about is do you want to be debt free or have a mortgage.  Beau opened my eyes here in particular.  To be debt free you can live off of your income and in theory reduce your needed income. If you pay off your home you can potentially retire earlier. The down side of this is that your money is all tied up in the home and you could come to a situation where you need to get the money out, leaving selling your home or the aggressive reverse mortgage as your only option if you were not prepared for emergencies properly. This just happened with my Grandmother who had a home in Alpharetta, GA..  She had to get a reverse mortgage and while it increased her income it was sad to sell the home.Basically you have to look at your situation, would you rather have a few hundred thousand dollars tied up in a home (that you could give to your heirs), or sitting somewhere earning income for you to live.   


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Joshua Jarvis

Joshua Jarvis is a 15 year veteran of real estate and runs his own real estate team, Jarvis Team Realty in Duluth, GA.  His team is routinely in the top 1% locally and top 2% nationwide with over 100 homes sold every year. A graduate of Georgia Tech, Joshua engineers systems for his team and clients alike.   Joshua love technology and is often asked to teach or speak on the subject of real estate SEO and digital marketing.

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