Financial tips for retirement cottage renovations

Now that retirement is just around the corner, you're thinking of making that part-time cottage life your year-round life

Your cottage has always been an important part of your lifestyle —and now that retirement is just around the corner, you’re thinking of making cottage life your year-round life.

But a cottage built and outfitted for part-time occupancy isn’t always the ideal abode for full-time living, especially through your senior years.

So you’re also probably thinking renovation. And if that’s the case, you’ve got some more thinking — and planning! — to do.

Here are a few tips to get you started on a cottage retirement reno plan that works for you:

Construct an enduring design for living

This is going to be your retirement home, so plan for the long-term. Select durable, low- or no-maintenance materials. Consider such age-friendly modifications as access ramps, wider doors, lower counters and easy-to-use bathroom facilities. An architect and/or reputable contractor can help you make the right choices.

Set a budget and stick to it. Changes during construction are very costly.

Explore your financing options

You may choose to do the renos yourself or hire a professional — either way, you’ll have to pay for them. Your financing options include:

• Using your credit card for a small reno — but keep in mind, credit card interest usually exceeds 18 per cent. You should plan to pay the balance to zero when the statement arrives, thereby saving the interest costs.

• Taking out a personal loan at an interest rate and payback schedule you work out with the lender.

• Obtaining a personal line of credit or a secured line of credit based on your equity in the property, which typically charge interest only on the funds you use each month and allows you to borrow funds as needed.

• Arranging a construction loan. Often necessary for larger projects, the loan is based on an appraiser’s evaluation of the finished residence, with money usually released at specific points during construction.

• Refinancing your mortgage, which can allow you to borrow up to 80 per cent of your cottage’s appraised value.

• Using your investments or retirement funds. Proceed with caution: You may be shortchanging your retirement lifestyle. You could lose money by cashing out investments in a down market or by spending investments that can’t be replaced at the same interest level.

And borrowing from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) may not only trigger an immediate tax hit, you’ll also lose years of potential growth.

Your professional adviser can help you make the right cottage reno financing choices for the retirement lifestyle of your dreams.

J. Kevin Dobbelsteyn is a certified financial planner with Investors Group Financial Services Inc. His column appears every Wednesdays.

Just Posted

Tom Cochrane and Red Rider coming to Vancouver Island MusicFest

Executive producer Doug Cox has landed Canadian Music Hall of Famer Tom… Continue reading

Courtenay Day of Mourning ceremony April 28 at Simms Park

In 2018, 131 B.C. workers died from a workplace injury or disease.… Continue reading

Kus-kus-sum receives $1 million in provincial funding

New Democrat MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard is welcoming $1 million in provincial funding… Continue reading

Comox Valley Record putting the call out to Snowbirds shutterbugs

David Suther sent in this great pic of the Snowbirds, shot from… Continue reading

Too Good To Be Threw back in downtown Courtenay with second location

The new store opened Tuesday at 456 5th Street

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Sewer line repair underway at Goose Spit Park in Comox

Wastewater spotted near parking area at bottom of Goose Spit stairs

Two in critical condition, several still in hospital after Langley deck collapse

Close relative Satwant Garcha makes daily trips to visit those injured at the wedding

Allegedly intoxicated man arrested after 3 paramedics attacked at Kamloops hospital

Paramedics had transported the man to Royal Inlands Hospital for medical treatment

Canadian privacy watchdogs find major shortcomings in Facebook probe

The probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal info

Busy day for passengers on BC Ferries

First two sailings from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay full Thursday morning

B.C., Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

Most Read