4 Ways to Feel More “At Home” in Your Home
Do you feel “at home” in your home?
Your home is often the biggest financial purchase you’ll ever make. But is it also giving you the emotional payoffs you hope for?
Your home is an important part of your financial plan because we have to consider your rent or mortgage, utility bills, maintenance, and taxes as part of your monthly and long-term financial picture. But to get the best life possible with the money you have, your home should also be a safe place that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.
Here are four things to consider when trying to make your residence feel more like home.
Your personal touches.
Forget about the celebrity Instagram boards, and instead think about how to make your house reflect your family’s passions and stories. Turn an unused bedroom into a crafting workshop or personal study. Bring those old family photo boxes down to a framer and breathe new life into your walls. Brighten up shelves with mementos from favorite trips.
If you are considering additions or backyard amenities, consider changes that create experiences for you and your loved ones. The trend is to create conversational areas outside similar to what you have inside. Fire pits, wood or gas, add ambiance to any gathering. Upgrading your kitchen might allow the inner gourmet to flourish. My sister’s upgraded kitchen allows for more family cooking events.
Or maybe you create a personal space at a second home, like a lakeside cabin for fishing trips, or a condo with access to world-class golf and tennis.
Your personal comfort.
Sometimes less flashy upgrades to your living space have the biggest impact. A brand-new mattress isn’t as exciting as a backyard hot tub, but you’re certainly not going to spend 8 hours every day soaking!
If you’ve been sleeping in the same bed and slumping on the same couch for close to a decade, do some furniture shopping. Get some new pillows and sheets, or an ergonomic computer chair. These improvements aren’t just cosmetic – they’ll help you rest better and feel better.
Many of us also live with little quirks that have a negative impact on how we feel about our homes: that room in the back that doesn’t get warm enough in the winter, a leaky faucet, a living room with enough lighting for TV but not enough to read by, that nightmare hallway closet that’s going to explode someday. Minor household repairs and good old-fashioned spring cleaning can bring some welcome calm to the clutter we all accumulate.
Your personal geography.
In your lifetime, you may move multiple times. Moving across country for a job. Moving from downtown to the suburbs to raise a family.
Communities change that may be unsettling for you. Friends come and go. Cost of living can fluctuate. You may find yourself making multiple moves as your life changes.
More communities are being established to meet the needs and desires of baby boomers. Independent retirement communities with social activities and amenities like club houses and community pools.
Or maybe you move closer to the grandchildren. Being able to enjoy and support their development. Their influence can keep you young.
Your personal journey.
As your life changes, your experience of home will change along with it, especially as retirement nears. The big family homestead might become a difficult empty nest for you and your spouse to maintain as you age. The familiar comforts of home might start to create a restless sort of discomfort. You might feel drawn to new places, new people, and new experiences to keep your golden years fresh and stimulating.
Or, like more and more retirees, you might decide that your current home truly is where your heart is. You might “retire in place” and give your current home some TLC that will prepare it for the next phase of your life.
So what does ‘home’ mean to you? What does it look like now? What will it look like as you age? We are here to help you incorporate your ‘picture of home’ into your financial plan.
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