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The main points in a nutshell

  • The decision where to live in retirement depends on both personal and financial factors.
  • Plan a possible move to another area or renovation work on your home in good time.
  • If you want to renovate your property to make it age-appropriate, you should ensure it offers barrier-free access, among other factors.
  • Home care can also enable you to continue living in your own home into old age.
  • We advise against taking out long-term loans at an advanced retirement age of over 70, because long-term mortgages on real estate make it harder to divide up an estate. You should therefore put a long-term financing concept in place five years before you retire.

After retirement, many people ask themselves where and how they would like to live. It is better to think about this decision at an early stage. Not every house or apartment is suitable for the elderly. Where you live after retirement also has a considerable impact on how much of your assets will remain at your disposal. We recommend that you start planning where and how you will live 15 years before you retire.

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Most people want to grow old in their own home because of the strong emotional ties they have to it. Over time you develop close social contacts in your neighborhood and neighbors often become friends. That’s why many people find it difficult to imagine selling their house or apartment when they retire and leaving familiar surroundings. In addition, moving to a senior-friendly apartment in the immediate vicinity cannot be guaranteed due to the rental housing market.

New phase in life – a new design for your home?

Would you like to stay in your own home after retirement to be close to your friends and family while remaining as flexible as possible?

Then the following solutions may be suitable for you:

Remodeling of an owner-occupied home

The needs a property must meet can change greatly as you get older. Ensure it meets certain requirements. For example, it is important that your home is barrier-free. This means there should be nothing preventing you from moving around easily in your own home. Also consider the layout of the rooms. The most important living spaces will ideally be located on the ground floor. An elevator is also an advantage.

Check whether your apartment is conveniently located and you can easily reach public transport and stores. This is especially practical if you no longer have a car.

To make it easier to get to the bathroom at night, you can move your bedroom closer to your bathroom. Installing a shower seat as well as handholds in the bathroom and the bedroom can also make everyday living easier. These construction measures are inexpensive compared with major remodeling. Measures such as a stair lift, door widening or remodeling of the entire bathroom are much more expensive.

Be sure to plan enough budget for this. There are various financing options such as a renovation mortgage or a building loan that will give you some leeway for the realization of your remodeling.

Remodeling: What renovation costs should you expect?

Have you decided to renovate your own home to make it senior-friendly? Keep in mind that renovation costs can vary significantly depending on your individual needs and circumstances. Costs depend on factors such as the scope of renovations and the size and type of home.

The following questions are particularly relevant to you:
Do you want to carry out only the most necessary renovations? Or do you want to take additional measures, for example, to increase the value and quality of your property?

During the entire planning process, remember that the cost of materials is not the only critical factor. Rather, the service life of certain components and how regularly they should be replaced also play an important role in your financial planning.

We recommend you develop a long-term strategy for renovations, maintenance and refurbishment work. This is the best way to find out if the renovations are in line with your financial goals. A professional can advise you and assist you in estimating costs.

Renovations offer the following tax benefits

In fact, remodeling work can even bring tax advantages because thanks to deductions, you can lower your taxable income and thus reduce your tax burden.
Note, however, that renovation costs are only deductible if they serve to maintain the value of your property. This includes replacing old windows, maintaining the garden or renovating an old bathroom. By contrast, value-enhancing investments such as the installation of a new sauna are not deductible.

Renovations for improved energy efficiency can be deducted from taxable income.

Remember that value-preserving measures can only be claimed for in the year in which they are incurred. That’s why it’s worth spreading the deductible costs over several years. You should therefore consider carrying out your renovations gradually as you will then benefit from lower progressive taxation, because you have not claimed all the tax in the same year.

If only minor maintenance and renovation costs are incurred in a given year, you may deduct a lump-sum amount from your taxable income. Depending on the canton, this deduction is 10% of the imputed rental value for newer properties and around 20% for older properties.
Energy-efficient renovations also reduce the tax burden, as these costs are also deducted from your taxable income. They also have a positive impact on the energy efficiency of your property and reduce energy consumption.

A climate-friendly renovation is worth it

Calculate your property’s estimated energy use and renovation requirements as well as its CO2 emissions free of charge in just a few steps.

Exemplary result of the calculator

Care at home: how to find the right support

Would you like to keep living in your current home as you get older but would need help to do so, including possible medical care?

A wide range of services are available to facilitate this, including: Spitex (DE), Meals-on-Wheels, Pro Senectute (DE), Neighborly help (DE) and fiduciary services. This solution is ideal if you like to maintain social contact with people, are well organized and have no problem getting help.

Your health insurance will pay for medical and nursing care if a doctor has prescribed it. Household services may be covered by supplementary insurance or by AHV/IV supplementary benefits.

Conclusion: plan your living situation in retirement carefully

There is no single “right” answer to the question of where to live in old age. Your decision requires careful consideration and will depend on your personal circumstances, including your financial situation, personal preferences, and future needs. Discuss all the criteria with your partner and family and make a careful list.

If you would like to renovate your property to make it age-appropriate, we will be happy to help you calculate the costs. Our advisors specialize in helping you with your real estate decisions by taking into account all the important factors. We will be happy to advise you on your individual situation.