Couples, as a general rule, buy a house because they want a place to raise their children. They begin "nesting" almost as soon as they find out they are going to have their first baby. When you have reached the very end of raising children to adulthood and all of the children have fled the nest, you enter another period; empty-nesting. Here are some options for when you have reached this stage of life.
If your home is rather modest, then maybe you would enjoy having boarders fill the empty space. Regular income would supplement your social security, and you would not need to downsize your abode. Just make sure you screen every applicant and potential housemate before you sign the documents to rent a room.
Bed & Breakfast
If your home is very luxurious, you could turn it into a bed and breakfast. Many couples who have historic and beautiful homes do not want to sell them and buy a smaller house, but cannot stay in such a large home either. A bed and breakfast is a good option because you do not have permanent tenants and can continue to afford the taxes and insurance on your property.
New Homes for Sale
Finally, you could just sell the house you have and look for a newer, smaller home. Many seniors enjoy condo living because they do not have to do any property maintenance anymore. You could use the profits from the sale of your "empty nest" to purchase a roomy condo, or just a smaller home on smaller property to lessen the work load.
Consult with a Real Estate Agent
You can always consult with a real estate agent regarding your current home and any home that might otherwise be of interest to you. He or she could show you what you could get from the sale of your current home and what you can afford in a newer, smaller home. If you find something that appeals to you, you could put your current home up for sale and make an offer on a new home on practically the same day.
If you decide to become a boarding house or bed and breakfast inn, the agent can help you there too. The agent can show you how to advertise and promote your home for these purposes. Many who use their homes for these purposes have had great success advertising on real estate websites.