Retirement Homes

When you no longer are tied to one location because of a job, you have the freedom to live wherever you like within your budget.

It’s an exhilarating feeling but it can also be a little daunting because so many factors go into deciding what may be the last residence of your life. You may want to consider the following prior to making a retirement home decision.

Location

This is as important a factor as selecting a location prior to retiring. For example:

  • Children- If you have children and grandchildren you might want to be close to where they live so you can visit often. Often, an hour radius from them might be a good place to start. That way you both have space but you’re only about an hour and a half away from each other so a visit isn’t onerous on anyone.
  • Climate- Maybe after living your life in a Midwestern city, you might want to live somewhere it’s warm year round like Florida or Arizona. Or conversely, after living in a climate that’s beautiful but the same every day (like San Diego), you may a want to experience the lushness of the change of seasons.

  • Medical Issues- If you have a condition that requires medical care you might want to move to an area that has facilities and specialists who can assist you

  • Cost of Living- If you’re on a fixed income it may be a good idea to check out the prices for fuel, food and other necessities to make sure they match your cash flow needs

  • Taxes- Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming have no personal income taxes. Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon do not have sales tax. This can make a significant difference in your yearly living expenses.

  • Geography- In addition to climate, consider the geography. Do you want to live near a river, lake or an ocean? Maybe mountains or rolling hills and valleys are more your style. This is your chance to live in whatever earthly environment you want!

  • Space- If  you live in a metropolitan area, you might prefer the fact that everything is open all the time as opposed to living in a small town where the area might shut down at 9pm. Small town living can be quite an adjustment from a big city environment.

Community

If you’re tired of doing the maintenance and upkeep (mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow, etc.) that owning a single family home implies, you might want to consider a condo or a townhome. Of course, that comes with a monthly assessment so you’ll have to factor that in, also.

Living in a condo, townhome, single family home or an apartment anywhere will be just like living in the same residence prior to retirement.

If you’re retired, you might want to consider buying a home in an active retirement community. If so, consider the following:

  • Activities- If you have an active lifestyle, check the community for golf courses, swimming pools or tennis courts. Also, find out if the community sponsors any outings, regular exercise classes or other planned activities that match your interests.
  • Safety- Check what the crime rate is in the city you’re considering moving to prior to moving in. Then find out what security measures are in place to prevent crime—like having security officers patrol the grounds at night or living within a gated community.

  • Friendliness of Staff- Talk to staff members and other people who live in the community about the staff’s willingness to assist the community residents

  • Finances- When living in a retirement community, you’ll have a regular fee that will not change while you’re in the community. You’ll be able to budget accordingly and spend your money on what you’ve been looking forward to do during your retirement.

  • Socializing- While you’re living in a home within a retirement community, you will have plenty of opportunity to interact with adults your own age  

  • Convenience- Retirement communities strive to make life as convenient as possible for their residents. Often, all of your expenses (taxes, utilities, insurance) are covered in one fee making it easier to keep track of your monthly cash outflow.

Maintenance and repairs on the grounds, including your home, may be taken care of by the staff. It’s worry free living at its best.

Whether you elect to live in a retirement home and handle everything yourself or buy a retirement home in a retirement community, it’s a decision that requires some thought and especially self awareness, of who you are and where you want

Photo via dark_ghetto28