Advertisement
retirement

4 Features to Look for in a Tiny Retirement Home

Certain design features can make tiny homes safer and more comfortable for downsizing retirees.

Moving into a tiny home can be uniquely appealing to certain retirees who are seeking to downsize their lives in a big way. After all, compared with a traditional full-size house, a tiny home is more affordable to purchase, less expensive to live in and easier to maintain. Plus, the limited space compels you to declutter. Incidentally, there's no rule that dictates just how tiny a tiny home needs to be. If you're accustomed to more space and want to hang on to more stuff, spring for a tiny home with extra square footage.

For those thinking about -- or willing to think about -- living in a tiny home in retirement, here are some of the most important design features to consider:

Advertisement - Article continues below

Main-floor bedroom. Leave the lofts to those who are younger and nimbler. Not only does going up and down a ladder increase the risk of falls, but it also increases the strain on already achy joints. Tiny Home Builders, based in DeLand, Fla., lists a Tiny Retirement single-level floor plan that accommodates a full bed (or pull-out sofa), a kitchen, a bathroom and storage, all in less than 200 square feet.

A full bath. Ideally, it should come equipped with a raised toilet -- typically a couple of inches taller than a standard toilet -- for comfort and a walk-in shower for safety. The "Tiny Retirement" model has a 36-by-36-inch standing shower, the same width you'd find in a full-size home. Grab bars in the bathroom can cut the odds of slipping on wet floors. So, too, can slip-resistant flooring.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Easy-to-reach storage. Loft storage is fine for things you rarely need to retrieve, such as holiday decorations. If you require an occasional hand pulling down those items, ask a friend or family member to stop by. But closets and other storage areas that you access daily shouldn't involve the use of a ladder (or awkward stooping or stretching, for that matter). A friend or family member won't be around every time you need to reach clean socks or a spare roll of paper towels. Built-in drawers beneath beds and sofas are among the clever storage solutions found in tiny homes.

Accessibility. You might be active and healthy when you move into a tiny home, but age catches up with everyone. Build low to avoid steps, if possible. If not, consider a ramp for the entryway. Henry Moseley, president of Home Care Suites, in Tampa, Fla., says his company takes into account aging in place when it builds its small cottages. (Moseley prefers the term "cottage" because his small structures are built on permanent foundations in backyards, unlike portable tiny homes that can be hauled around by trailer.) Moseley says his small cottages, which start at 256 square feet, include wide doorways and low-threshold showers to accommodate wheelchairs.

Advertisement

Most Popular

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?
tax brackets

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?

The IRS unveiled the 2020 tax brackets, and it's never too early to start planning to minimize your future tax bill.
June 20, 2020
HSAs Get Even Better
Financial Planning

HSAs Get Even Better

Workers have more options with flexible spending accounts, too.
July 2, 2020
17 States That Will Gain or Lose Electoral-College Votes After the 2020 Census
Politics

17 States That Will Gain or Lose Electoral-College Votes After the 2020 Census

Every 10 years, the 435 seats in the House of Representatives are reassigned based on the results of the U.S.
July 2, 2020

Recommended

13 Tax Breaks for Homeowners and Home Buyers
income tax

13 Tax Breaks for Homeowners and Home Buyers

Owning (or buying) a home is expensive. But at least there are some tax deductions, credits, and exclusions that can help you recoup some of those cos…
June 22, 2020
12 Things Every Home Buyer Should Do
real estate

12 Things Every Home Buyer Should Do

Buying a home may be one of the biggest purchases you will ever make.
June 12, 2020
11 Things Every Home Seller Should Do
real estate

11 Things Every Home Seller Should Do

As a home seller, your goal is to sell your property quickly for the most money possible.
June 12, 2020
13 Reasons You Will Regret an RV in Retirement
retirement

13 Reasons You Will Regret an RV in Retirement

RV-loving retirees talk about the downsides of spending retirement in a motorhome, travel trailer, fifth wheel or other recreational vehicle.
June 8, 2020