Leaving the City Behind: Why Downsizing to a Rural Property Is the Retirement Trend to Watch

Some people are downsizing to a rural property when they retire due to its potential benefits, such as the ability to enjoy nature and a slower-paced lifestyle in an area that may be less expensive and offer lower taxes.

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Leaving the City Behind: Why Downsizing to a Rural Property Is the Retirement Trend to Watch
7 Min Read March 9th, 2023

Are you dreaming of spending your retirement years in a peaceful, idyllic setting surrounded by nature and away from the hustle and bustle of city life?

Many retirees are finding that their ideal retirement home is not in a bustling metropolis but in a rural area. The fresh air, beautiful scenery, and slower pace of life are just some of the many reasons why retirees are flocking to the countryside.

Whether you're looking for a cozy cottage or a spacious farmhouse, there are plenty of options available to retirees in rural areas that make sense for a better way of life and stretch your budget during your golden years.

Advantages of Rural Retirement

Retiring to a rural area can offer many advantages over city living. It turns out that many retirees are interested in downshifting to a smaller home in a more natural setting. This can allow them to live a more relaxed and carefree lifestyle without the stresses of city life.

Easier Living

For starters, the pace of life is much slower, allowing retirees to enjoy a more leisurely, stress-free lifestyle.

Nature lovers will appreciate the serenity of rural life, with its rolling hills, lush forests, and peaceful lakes. The crisp, clean air and beautiful scenery provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and bird-watching. Plus, rural areas often boast a sense of community and neighborliness that is often lacking in cities.

And if you're looking for entertainment, rural areas often host farmers' markets, craft fairs, and festivals that make life feel more vibrant and interesting. Downsizing to a rural property for retirement can be a great way to enjoy a slower-paced retirement surrounded by nature and friendly neighbors. If you're interested in retiring to a rural area, consider using a USDA home loan to get started.


Another benefit of rural life is affordability. Housing prices tend to be much lower in rural areas than in cities, making it easier for retirees to find a comfortable home within their budget. With the right budgeting and research, retirees can find a home that suits their needs and allows them to enjoy their golden years.

The difference between rural and city housing prices can be vast. Rural areas often have a much lower cost of living, making it easier for retirees to stretch their savings further and find a place to call home. Furthermore, rural areas tend to have more open space, allowing retirees to enjoy the peace of nature without the hustle and bustle of city life.

Additionally, many rural areas have a lower cost of living than cities, so retirees can stretch their retirement income further.

Peace of Mind

Finally, retiring to a rural area can provide a sense of security and peace of mind that can be hard to find in cities. With fewer people around, there is less crime, so retirees can feel safe going on walks and enjoying the outdoors. Plus, rural areas tend to have better access to health care facilities and resources than cities, providing greater peace of mind when it comes to medical care.

Rural areas also offer a peaceful and relaxing lifestyle, with fresh air, beautiful scenery, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation and hobbies. And because rural communities are often smaller and more tight-knit than urban ones, retirees can enjoy a sense of community and connection with their neighbors.

Finding the Perfect Retirement Home

Once you've decided that retiring to a rural area is the right choice for you, the next step is to find the perfect retirement home.

Before you start your search, take some time to think about what you're looking for in a rural property. 

Prior to making any decisions, it's important to look at your own needs and priorities. What are the things that are most important to you in a retirement home?

  • What type of home would you want? Ranch-style? Maybe a cottage or even a farmhouse?

  • How big do you want your property to be? How much acreage would you need?

  • Are you looking for a property that is close to town or that is more isolated?

Once you have a good sense of what you're looking for, you can start looking for eligible areas and working with a real estate agent to find the right property. Your agent can help you identify properties that meet your needs and help you navigate your financing options.

Downsizing vs. Upsizing

Downsizing or upsizing your home in a rural area during retirement can be a difficult decision to make.

Moving into a smaller home can mean lower utility bills, fewer maintenance costs, and less clutter. Plus, downsizing could free up money for other activities and experiences you may not otherwise have access to.

On the other hand, upsizing may be the right choice if you're looking for more space. Upsizing could include an extra bedroom or a larger kitchen. It could also mean having an outdoor area or a larger garden. If you're looking for more room for hobbies or activities, such as woodworking or gardening, upsizing could be the way to go.

When choosing downsizing or upsizing your home during retirement, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. It's also important to consider either choice's impact on your lifestyle and how it will affect your retirement goals. Ultimately, deciding what will best suit your needs and budget is up to you.

How are Rural Health Care Facilities?

In recent years, many rural communities have made significant investments in their health care infrastructure to provide residents with high-quality medical care.

One of the advantages of rural health care facilities is that they are often smaller and more personalized than those in urban areas. This can lead to a stronger sense of community and connection between patients and their doctors and more individualized care.

Rural health care facilities may also be more flexible in their approach to care, with a greater emphasis on preventive care and wellness programs.

Despite some of the challenges of providing health care in rural areas, many rural communities are finding creative solutions to address these issues. For example, some areas are investing in telehealth technology, which allows patients to receive medical care remotely through video conferencing and other digital tools. This can be especially beneficial for retirees with mobility or transportation issues.

It's worth noting that many rural areas are home to highly skilled medical professionals dedicated to serving their communities. From doctors and nurses to pharmacists and physical therapists, these individuals are vital in keeping rural residents healthy and well.

For someone needing long-term health care, you will often find quality in-home caregivers and adult day care centers available, in addition to assisted living facilities, memory care, and nursing home facilities. Depending on the area, these costs may be less than those in major urban areas - LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator - Find Your Location

Financing Options for Your Rural Retirement

While most options to buy a home these days require hefty down payments, there are a few ways to finance a home without digging into your "fun funds."

Buying Cash

Depending on how much money you have available to you, you can buy a home outright without any financing. This is a great option if you're comfortable covering the entire purchase price with funds from somewhere else, like selling an existing home.

Reverse Mortgage

You could also use a reverse mortgage to borrow against the equity in your existing home and rent it out for rental income. This can provide you with the money you need to purchase a property and protect your home from being sold until you're ready.

USDA Loans

USDA loans can be an excellent option for retirees looking for an affordable and comfortable place to call home. These loans are designed to help low to moderate-income borrowers purchase homes in eligible rural areas and offer a range of benefits that make them an attractive choice for retirees.

One of the biggest advantages of a USDA home loan is that it is truly 100% financing. It can be a huge relief for retirees on a fixed income, making it much easier to get approved and secure a comfortable place to call home.

Working with a lender who can walk you through the loan application and approval process and help you understand your costs is a good idea.

Making the Most of Your Rural Retirement

Retiring to a rural area can offer many opportunities for staying active and engaged in retirement.

Whether you want to take up gardening, hiking, or fishing, there's something for everyone in the countryside. And because rural communities are often close-knit, retirees can enjoy a sense of community and connection with their neighbors that can be harder to find in the city.

It's important to go into your rural retirement with an open mind and a willingness to embrace new experiences.

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About the Author

Danny Nassar is the founder of LoanStar360, a nationally recognized mortgage team. With over two decades of experience in the mortgage industry, he has built a reputation of solving some of the most complex mortgage scenarios in the market.

LTC News Contributor Danny Nassar

Danny Nassar

Contributor since March 10th, 2023

Editor's Note

When thinking about retirement, you must include how you will address the future costs and burdens of aging. As your health declines and your face chronic health problems, you will probably need help with daily living activities or supervision due to dementia. 

The problem of long-term health care is both a cash flow issue and a family issue. The cost of long-term care services is expensive, even in rural areas. Preparing your family and finances for the financial costs and burdens associated with long-term health care is key to enjoying a successful future retirement, no matter where you live.

The solution for long-term health care is Long-Term Care Insurance. 

How Does Long-Term Care Insurance Differ From Other Types of Insurance?

When you own a policy, you will have the funds to pay for your choice of care services, even at home. You remain in control and less dependent on loved ones. Plus, you won't drain a significant amount of assets or be forced to alter your lifestyle.

Most people get coverage in their 50s when they still enjoy fairly good health, and premiums are much lower. 

How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost?

Professional Help Will Save Money

It is recommended to seek the assistance of a Long-Term Care Insurance specialist when looking into researching LTC Insurance. Doing so can provide information and guidance to best determine the most suitable policy and help ensure the policy provides optimal protection when you need it.

Long-Term Care Insurance is regulated by both the federal government and the states. Every insurance company must file its products and pricing with the state's insurance department. The federal government requires consumer protections, regulated benefit triggers, and even tax incentives as long as the policy meets federal guidelines under Section 7702(b) of U.S. Code. 

A Long-Term Care specialist will match your age, health, family history, and other factors when making recommendations and providing accurate quotes. Each insurance company has its own pricing and underwriting, and those can vary dramatically. 

Specialists will understand all these factors, unlike most financial advisors or general insurance agents who don't work with these products very often.

LTC NEWS Resources Help You Discover Solutions

LTC NEWS has a variety of tools that can educate you about the ways you can prepare for the consequences of long-term care. Use our tools as you research your options:

LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator - Find Your Location

Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

Long-Term Care Guides

News and Articles on Long-Term Care and Related Topics

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Parent’s Health Declining? Looking for Help with Care?

Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. 

Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim

It is advisable to not wait on using Long-Term Care Insurance benefits if your loved one is fortunate enough to have a policy. Access to quality care right away will benefit the care recipient and the family.

If your parent or parents need help, get them quality care. LTC NEWS can help. We have put together several comprehensive guides to help you in your process.

Start by reading our four guides -

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