The decision of whether to rent or buy in retirement requires careful consideration. You have to do your due diligence.
There are advantages to owning— mortgage interest and property tax write-offs; the ability to benefit from potential price appreciation and build equity and the chance to make the place look the way you want, by tearing up carpet or tearing down walls.
But there are downsides, too: the cost of maintenance and repairs; tapping equity requires a lender’s approval and selling takes time and effort (plus it comes with a glut of paperwork).
Renting has upsides, also. For starters, it’s flexible: Want to test out a smaller home or one-level living? Plan to move from an urban center to a quiet coastal town? Renting is a good option. If the move turns out to be a bad idea, you can just move on.
Renting can also be cheaper than buying, both initially and continually. Instead of coming up with a sizable down payment, you’d only be required to pay the first month’s rent and a security deposit. You don’t have to budget for maintenance and repair costs, or condo association fees or property taxes.
In addition, an apartment community could offer aging-in-place amenities such as elevators, wheelchair access and bathroom grab bars.
Renting can also let you deploy your money to help boost your finances in retirement. You could use the cash from the sale of your home to build your nest egg by investing in mutual funds, annuities, stocks or bonds.
Excerpts – Market Watch