While many picture a childless 20-something when they think of who might own a tiny house, the fact is, a large number of people older than 55 are interested in downsizing their home to live big. Tiny homes offer a lifestyle of travel, relaxation, and comfort — all while costing less than a traditional home.
But that doesn’t mean tiny home retirement is for everyone. If you’re ready to retire, here are a few things to consider to decide if going tiny is right for you.
Do Retire in a Tiny Home If…
You’re Looking to Downsize in a Major Way
The average US home is just over 2600 square feet, and tiny homes are typically between 100 and 400 square feet. If you’re ready to sell, donate, or toss a huge portion of your material items — or have already done so — it sounds like you’re already on the path to tiny living.
You’re Ready to Invest in Your Retirement
While tiny homes cost less than traditional homes in the long run, financing options upfront are limited. Some people fail to plan ahead, and you can’t just buy a tiny home on the fly (even if you can get one on Amazon); tiny homes require a lot of prep work, which brings us to our next point.
You’re Willing to Do Some Research
Square footage might be low, but the customization options are endless. If you’re a pet lover, you’ll want to plan storage for bowls, toys, and crates; and if you want the grandkids to stay overnight, you’ll need space for a couch or pullout bed. Retirement is all about you, and your tiny home plans should be no different, so take the time to browse builders and layouts to find a perfect customization.
You Want Homeownership Without the Maintenance
If your goal is to have zero maintenance, we have to burst your bubble: maintenance is part of living. But if you want to be a homeowner without the stress of constant upkeep, a tiny house can be perfect. Smaller size means minimal maintenance and less time cleaning, which allows the perfect amount of freedom for you to pursue your interests in retirement.
You Spend a lot of Time Outside Your Home
This one might sound a little silly, but if you’re someone who never leaves your home, the constraints of tiny living could grate on your nerves quickly. If you just need a home to rest your head, prepare your meals, and house all the things you can’t carry around in your pockets, tiny-home life is perfect for you. But if you’re someone who spends a lot of time indoors and doesn’t like to look for external entertainment, going tiny could be a terrible fit.
Don’t Go Tiny If…
You Enjoy Hosting All the Time
Might seem like a no-brainer, but it still needs to be said: if you enjoy lavish house parties and gigantic family dinners, it’s going to be pretty difficult to host them in a space the size of a master bathroom.
A Tiny Home Won’t Age With You and Your Plans
Tiny homes can come with all sort of gadgets and gizmos, but not all of those are suitable for retirement life. The bedroom loft, a common feature in tiny houses, isn’t a good idea if you’re not comfortable going up and down a ladder at least twice a day per day. Likewise, if you plan to travel across the country in your tiny home, you don’t want to design a home more suited to stationary life.
You’re Not Ready to Give Up Your Things
Everything comes with a cost, and downsizing can be a difficult price to pay. If you aren’t ready to part with your things, you can still downsize — but a townhouse or condo is likely a better fit. If you can’t stand the idea of purging 60 years’ worth of Christmas ornaments or all your kids’ wedding albums, consider an option with more space.
You Can’t Accommodate to Your Health Needs
Tiny living might seem glamorous, but it isn’t always the most accessible. If you have limited mobility or rely on someone to assist you throughout the day — and you’re not interested in sharing a few hundred square feet with that person — then going tiny likely isn’t a great idea. There are workarounds, but be sure to realistically assess your lifestyle before you make the commitment.
Not ready to downsize quite so small, but still want to make a move? NewHomeSource is a one-stop shop figuring out how to find your new home, and to browse listings; come check it out! For more tiny home inspiration, check out the NewHomeSource Instagram!
Mia Zozobrado joined Builders Digital Experience (BDX) in 2019 as a content writer. A graduate of Southwestern University with a degree in English, Mia is passionate about the written word and making connections. Outside of work, Mia also serves on the Board of Directors for the Writers’ League of Texas.