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4 Steps for Acquiring the Perfect Homestead During Retirement
Article submitted by guest blogger Bob Shannon of SeniorsMeet.org.
Because today's retirees are healthier and more active than their counterparts of the past, many are choosing to pursue new hobbies and passions. Rather than downsizing to a tiny condo and resigning themselves to a quiet and sedentary future, some older Americans are embracing a lifestyle known as homesteading. As Small Farm Nation explains, this way of living can be a financially savvy, independent, and overall healthy option for modern seniors.
If this way of life appeals to you, the following four steps can help you find a new, larger home to welcome your visiting family, grow produce, raise animals, or whatever else you aim and hope for.
1. Let Your Imagination Guide You
Life on a homestead offers you the opportunity to be more independent and self-sufficient. Some homesteaders concentrate on subsistence agriculture, focusing their efforts on growing fruits and vegetables, raising livestock or chickens, and making and preserving homegrown foods. Others are more interested in making furniture, textiles, clothing, or other crafts. Still, others prefer the challenge of sustainable living by figuring out how to survive off the grid. In reality, the options are limitless because homesteading is more a mindset and way of life than a strict list of approved activities.
After doing your research and deciding which activities most appeal to you, make a list of your priorities, including preferences on:
- Geographic location
- Number of acres
- Type of land
- Square footage
- Number of needed bathrooms and bedrooms
- Space for a workshop or home office
- Accommodations for visiting family and friends
2. Determine a Reasonable Budget
Once you have a solid idea of your goals and priorities, examine your funding sources. Make a budget that reflects your monthly income and available savings. If you need to withdraw money from a retirement account, Daily Capital points out that it's imperative to understand the withdrawal rules to avoid unnecessary penalties.
For your monthly budget, try to estimate your expected expenses to gauge whether they can be covered by your current income (including investment income, Social Security payments, and private pension distributions). When calculating your expenses, consider any cost savings you might reap as a self-sufficient homesteader. Many retirees find that their expenses drop when they start growing their own food and living off the land.
3. Find the Perfect Home for Your Homestead
With your wishlist and budget firmly in hand, enlist the help of a real estate agent. This professional can help target your search and get the most home for your money thanks to their expertise in several areas. They follow the housing market and understand how location and home condition can impact price. They also have information about foreclosures, understand the negotiation process, and can help you get the assistance you need through their network connections. Let your agent handle all the purchase details while you plan and prepare for your new homesteading adventure.
4. Consider Turning Your Hobby Into a Business
Once you've settled into your new home and lifestyle, you may consider transitioning your homestead hobby into a small home-based business. Options include things like selling handmade furniture, homegrown foods, baked goods, or handcrafted items. Not only do these types of business ventures help generate additional income, but they can also provide you with a renewed sense of purpose.
If you decide to start a business, consider forming an LLC. Compared to a corporation, an LLC structure offers more flexibility, requires less paperwork, and conveys several important advantages to business owners. Personal assets are protected from liability, and the level of taxation is often reduced because profits are treated as personal gains. If you're wondering, "How do you start an LLC?" know that you can save on attorney fees by using a formation service, or if you elect to DIY, check the specific rules for your state to ensure success.
Retirees have more options than ever. If you dream of spending the next phase of your life as a homesteader, embrace your vision, know your budget, and hire a real estate professional to guide you in the process of purchasing the right-sized home. You'll likely save money by being more self-sufficient, and you might even generate income by turning your hobby into a business.
Are you looking to take real estate a step further by investing? Learn everything you need to know about making a good income from this venture by referring to Retire Rich with Real Estate.