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Selling the home to fund retirement: Some things to consider

There are numerous types of investments that can bolster one's retirement portfolio, but for many people, their largest investment is in their home. For some homeowners, it may make sense to cash in on the principle residence and add the proceeds to the retirement nest egg.

However, there are many factors to consider -- not the least of which is fluctuation in house values.

Currently in Toronto, residential real estate prices are up. There is concern, though, that home prices are overvalued -- perhaps by as much as 30 per cent across Canada. Still, selling at the right time can be a boon to retirement plans.

Before making major decisions that affect the value and future of your estate, it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer -- preferably one who is a certified financial planner.

With the right help, you can explore your options for diversifying your investments to avoid concentrating too much in one sector -- residential real estate, for example. If you own a cottage, would it make sense to move there and sell the principle residence?

Alternatively, it may be a good idea to hold onto your home for tax benefits, particularly if there are capital gains on the property.

The key is to plan now. For more on these matters, please see Hagel Lawfirm's asset protection overview.

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