There are 5 common mistakes that empty-nesters make. It may be true that old people know best, but then there is also an adage that nobody is perfect. The same can be said about finding yourselves as empty-nesters. Here are five common mistakes we can all learn from (even those of us facing our Golden Years without ever having had children):
You are not young forever.
This may sound harsh, but it is one of the truths we need to face in life. It is doubly true when you are a home buyer. That is why I always advise my clients to think of their long-term plans when investing in real estate. One day, you might start a family and have kids. Inevitably, the kids will grow-up and live lives of their own. Think forward when purchasing real estate. It may be 10, 20 years before you become an empty-nester (if ever you decide to have a family), but it pays to plan ahead and consider if you will be able to sell the property for a good price in the future.
You have more money to spend.
Once the kids have moved out, empty-nesters make the common mistake of going on shopping sprees and other projects. Some get caught up with home renovations, while others take luxurious trips to faraway paradises. While these are well deserved, spending too much on unimportant things can do you more harm than good. In fact, this advice not only applies to empty-nesters, but to people of all ages. If you are going to make several renovations, consider them carefully. Weigh the following factors: its use, its maintenance, and the value it adds to your property.
Costs will decrease once the kids move out.
Another common mistake is the assumption that expenses will significantly decrease once the kids have flown from the nest. After all, there will be fewer people using the utilities. You do not have to feed a lot of people anymore. And when expenses go down, you assume that you will have more money. That is not entirely the case, especially if you are prone to excessive home renovations as mentioned in the previous paragraph. You may also cook less, but you are probably inclined to prepare more expensive meals or go out to eat. Once kids have left the home, they are also not out of your life. They might still need the occasional help, and these emergencies can cause a [huge] dent in your savings.
Your home will be yours forever.
While some empty-nesters have indeed stayed in their homes even after the kids have gone, it is not always the case with other homeowners. Therefore, you have to consider how your property will fare in the market if ever you decide to sell your home in the future. This ties in with making long-term plans. A mansion with tennis courts and extensive grounds is definitely beautiful and can be full of joy with kids running around, but such a property can turn into a bit of a burden for a couple. Consider the neighborhood as well – the property might be a deal, but if it is located in a neighborhood that has yet to heat up, it might take a while for you to sell your home. This can be expensive as even though you have it on the market, you still have to pay for utilities and maintenance.
Just because you are an empty-nester does not mean you can not do anything anymore.
It is not uncommon for some empty-nesters to sit around and do nothing once the kids have gone away. That is fine if you have been tired all your life, but you also have to realize that you still have years ahead of you. Enjoy your life! A lot of empty-nesters sell their homes once the kids have moved out to pursue the interests they have set aside once they decided to build a family. Others go on a trip around the globe, while others retreat to the countryside in smaller properties and live a simple life. You are simply at a new stage in life, embrace it!
Do you want to avoid these and other common mistakes? Need advice on long-term real estate planning? As a nationally certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist®, I am just the one to help you. Contact me today at 760 622 5087 or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.