This helps explain why adults over the age of 50 account for up to 40 percent of the tiny house market. That number is expected to rise as more baby boomers enter retirement and seek more economical lives.
Despite the apparent benefits, committing to a tiny-home lifestyle is not always simple. It entails some difficult personal judgments as well as knowing that it is a housing option that comes with legal, logistical, and psychological challenges.
1What is a Tiny House?
The average American family lives in a 2600 square foot home. Consider living in a dwelling that is 85 to 95 percent smaller—a tiny house. Tiny homes, which range in size from 100 to 400 square feet, are sweeping the country as they promote a new minimalistic lifestyle.
Tiny houses are more than just modest suburban bungalows in comparison to regular homes. Tiny refers to something much smaller. Some tiny houses are barely over 100 square feet in size. That is around the size of a typical master bathroom.
If you’re caught thinking about how difficult it would be to live in your bathroom, take a moment to move outside of it. A tiny house doesn’t need to be that small. Many are in the 400 to 500 square foot range. However, this is still less than a quarter of the size of the average American home.
Do you believe you could live in that amount of space? Many individuals do, and many of them would not go back.
2Why Is Tiny Home Living Gaining in Popularity for Retirees?
There are a few primary reasons why retirees are interested in tiny homes, including:
- Financial Reasons
Tiny houses are the epitome of downsizing. Most people’s primary source of wealth is their home equity. Cashing out your primary residence and relocating to a tiny house can significantly boost your retirement finances. Retirees frequently discuss downsizing. Moving to a little house is a significant reduction.
- Environmental Reasons
Tiny houses are smaller, which means they require fewer resources to develop and maintain. They not only have a smaller physical footprint, but they also have a reduced environmental footprint.
Retirees are frequently advised to downsize their assets immediately. After years of maybe having a family, amassing a large number of items, and maintaining large residences, the thought of less stuff to deal with might be extremely enticing.
Retirement can be a wonderful time to simplify and focus on what is actually important to you. Tiny living can assist you in accomplishing this.
Homes require attention and upkeep. The items in our houses necessitate attention and maintenance. Making our homes smaller and having fewer items allows individuals to devote more time and attention to the aspects of life that are truly important to them, such as grandchildren, friends, travel, hobbies, and so on.
However, living in a little house does not imply slowing down. It’s more about having more free time and fewer commitments. When you think about it, a tiny house may very well equal liberation. You may have more time and money to do whatever you want if you have less square footage.
Don’t Go Tiny If…
While there are many benefits to going tiny, there are also some considerations to make when taking the plunge. There are some notable reasons one may not want to go tiny, including:
- You Enjoy Hosting All the Time
It may seem obvious, but if you prefer elaborate house parties and massive family meals, it will be tough to hold them in a space the size of a master bathroom.
- A Tiny Home Won’t Age With You and Your Plans
Tiny homes might come with various gadgets and gizmos, but not all of them are appropriate for retirement living. The bedroom loft, typical in tiny houses, is not a smart option if you are not comfortable climbing and descending a ladder at least twice a day. Similarly, if you intend to travel across the country in your tiny home, you should avoid designing a home that is more suited to fixed life.
- You’re Not Ready to Give Up Your Things
Everything has a price, and downsizing can be a difficult one to bear. If you aren’t ready to let go of your belongings, you can still downsize — but a townhouse or condo could be a better fit. Consider a larger option if you can’t bear the thought of letting go of 60 years’ worth of Christmas ornaments or all of your children’s wedding albums.
- You Can’t Accommodate Your Health Needs
Tiny living may appear elegant, but it is not always the most accessible option. Going tiny is probably not a good choice if you have restricted mobility or rely on someone to assist you during the day, and you don’t want to share a few hundred square feet with that person. There are solutions, but before you commit, make a realistic assessment of your lifestyle.
- Houses, Even Tiny Ones, Must Be Built to Code
Tiny homes built on foundations must normally meet the same regulatory requirements as any other dwelling, but the expense may be disproportionate and even prohibitive if you’re on a shoestring budget. You may need to prepare the land for building, obtain permissions, order inspections, and pay for utility service to be brought to the site.
- There’s No Space To Expand Your Family
A tiny house that works for one person may not work for two. What works for a couple may not work for a baby and the supplies that come with having one. Even bringing a pet into the mix can crowd your little living space.
- Tiny Homes Limit Where You Can Live
While some towns have relaxed zoning regulations to accommodate small homes, most governments do not allow you to park tiny homes in residential yards or use them as permanent residences unless you have the necessary licenses. Before making any selections, you should examine local rules and ordinances or park your tiny home in an RV park or other permitted areas.
- Tiny Living Isn’t Always Functional
At first glance, tiny living appears to be a simple way of life, but it can be quite hectic. Tiny houses frequently have low ceilings and tiny transition areas, forcing people to duck and squish as they traverse their surroundings, cook meals, take showers, and crawl into bed. When you don’t have enough dining space, even ordering takeout becomes a chore.
- Parking Your Tiny Home Isn’t Free
Unless you have permission to park your small house in someone’s backyard, you’ll need to find a spot to store it, and that will cost money. If you have enough money saved up, you can buy land or lease a lot—perhaps in an RV park or manufactured home neighborhood—for a set monthly fee.
- A Tiny Home Might Not Be Legal in Your City
For residences built on permanent foundations, state and local governments have their own construction codes. Permanent tiny homes frequently do not fulfill such standards, so you should examine the tiny-house ordinances for the city in which you live.
Is Living in a Tiny House Right for You and Your Retirement?
Tiny homes aren’t for everyone, but one could be ideal for you. Even though tiny houses are not always inexpensive, they can help you save money. More importantly, you can find freedom and a simpler way of life by giving up the large ranch and relocating to a tiny, efficient home.
Major downsizing is part of many people’s retirement plans. It takes some effort and a lot of homework, but many retirees believe it is all worthwhile. Regardless of your decision, you will need insurance for whichever home you choose.
Compared to traditional bungalows or multi-story residences, many small homes are unconventional, making acquiring the correct insurance coverage more difficult. Reviewing local zoning restrictions and construction codes can be beneficial when it comes to securing insurance for your tiny house, whether you are designing and building your tiny home or purchasing an existing structure.
3Take the Next Step
When you join the tiny-house movement, your life will look a little different. Consider purchasing a tiny house as a second home or rental property if you aren’t ready to leap headfirst into the small house movement. Many tiny house owners make extra money by renting out their units on platforms like Airbnb while still enjoying their property on the off times.