Can I fund my retirement by selling in a hot market?


As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), I’m seeing more clients choose to leave the city for cottage-type communities where boat docks and fishing spots are minutes from home.

Dear David,

My husband and I are an active, outdoorsy couple in our early 70s. We are toying with the idea of retiring to a luxury senior’s community, which we never thought we would be able to afford. We’ve lived in the same 3-bedroom home for 30 years and hear that the real estate market is going crazy lately. Is this our big chance? – HOPEFUL

DEAR HOPEFUL: If you are planning to retire now, your timing couldn’t be better. This might be the best time in recent history to think about downsizing, and deciding where you’ll go next is an important first step.

Given our local market conditions, moving to a luxury retirement complex may be a feasible option for you. As sale prices in our area are breaking new records, the cost of senior community living has remained fairly stable. If you sell today, it’s possible to pocket considerably more than you might have a few months ago, which may help you realize your dream of a white linen lifestyle.

That said, if you’re active and love the outdoors, there are many more options to consider. As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), I’m seeing more and more clients choose to leave the city behind, in search of smaller, cottage-type communities where the boat docks and fishing spots are minutes from home.

The “golden coast” of Lake Erie is particularly popular, including the areas of Port Dover, Turkey Point and Long Point. There are charming beach communities that dot the southern tip of Lake Huron from Sarnia to Sauble Beach, and if the beauty of the Beaver Valley is more your style, there are plenty of options on the neighbouring perimeter of Georgian Bay, such as Collingwood and The Blue Mountains.

If you’re currently considering the possibilities, it’s a great time to have a look online and discuss your plans with a knowledgeable Realtor. If you’re like most homeowners, your house is your largest asset and you’ve spent decades paying for it. The profit you make when you sell will be tax-free, which gives you even more flexibility as you plan your next step.

I’ve recently helped a number of clients lean into the booming market and boost their retirement savings. One couple that comes to mind sold their three-bedroom home in Waterloo, bought a new build (mortgage-free) in a smaller centre, and still had $100,000 left to comfortably pad their savings account.

PRO TIP:Whether you’re moving up, downsizing or breaking into real estate for the first time, there’s a lot of potential to be tapped outside of the city, and local agents can help you forge important connections. I’ve built professional relationships with Realtors across Canada, and regularly refer my clients to trusted colleagues when they need a Realtor who knows a neighboring market inside out. #AskDavid #Advice