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Now might be the time to feather your empty nest

March, 2010

As Baby Boomers, some of you may have mixed feelings about sitting in an empty nest.

While a large percentage of you may be neutral about the emotional impact, some of you may feel an increase in freedom.

Now that your home is empty of the hustle and bustle of raising a family, take a good look around and ask yourself: “What do I see?”

Look past the amazing family memories and I bet that you will see things you have always wanted to do with your home but for which you had neither the time nor the money.

What I am talking about is the price your home has paid – the wear and tear all those years of love and support toward raising your family has had on your home.Now that the kids are gone, you may be contemplating tackling these maintenance issues or starting to live your dreams. Imagine finally having your dream kitchen – granite countertops, wood cabinets and ceramic floors.

Perhaps you have always wanted to make a den out of one of the kids’ bedrooms.

Maybe you are thinking of finally installing a bathroom in the basement for convenience and guests.

Remember, just because your kids have moved out does not mean that they will not come back with families of their own and visit.

Do not forget about the outside of the house. Those windows have needed attention for years.

Perhaps now is the time to splurge. The roof needs to be changed now that it is 20 years old.

What about the yard? Now that you have time,wouldn’t it be nice to plant a garden, some trees and hedges?

Maybe a gazebo or a jacuzzi among the gardens you have planted in the back would be a nice retreat.You have it in you to start enjoying yourselves.

Whatever lifestyle changes or decisions you make, first determine what impact they will have on retirement savings and plans. Analyze all the options available to you. Start by creating a“big picture” of what you want todo and define your expectations about how you want to live your life each day.

Always live within your budget, making decisions accordingly.

Perhaps your home is renovated and now you just want to remove the work associated with maintaining a large property.

Perhaps you are now ready to sell. As I wrote last month, renovating to sell is not always a good idea because you could end up spending money on your home that you will not get back from the sale.

Important maintenance issues are necessary, since you do not want to give buyers reasons to not purchase your home.

As before, if you are not planning on moving any time soon, then why not enjoy the benefits of renovating now that the kids are gone?

Daniel Smyth is an agent with Groupe Sutton-Clodem Inc.



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