Choosing the home you want to retire in is a big decision. When the time comes, there are multiple factors to consider, and one major component is picking the best option for your present and future self. This decision affects your retirement savings and lifestyle and can be the difference between peace of mind for all your days or added stress to your life as a retiree. Let’s go over a few aspects you want to consider when looking for a retirement home.
Location, Location, Location
The location of your retirement home is one of the most critical parts of your decision. Many elements go into your choice, and you should deliberate on how it’ll affect everything else in your life.
- Do I want to live closer to friends and family?
- How far am I willing to move?
- Do I want to live near the mountains, countryside, or maybe even by the ocean?
- Does the region have all the amenities I would need?
- Is this home in a retirement-friendly location?
- Can I fulfill my retirement wishes here?
Of course, as the process gets down to the nitty-gritty, some things will have to be a give and take. You may be willing to give up your ideal location for a place that maybe isn’t as great but is a little bit closer to family or not as far from the beach. If you can’t drive around in the future, will you be able to get around places? Being stuck in the middle of nowhere could be a problem if you isolate too far away with no plan for your transportation needs. Regardless, you want to be able to check as many things off your list as possible when it comes to location.
Something many seniors opt for when searching for a new house is a one-story home. Our bodies will decline in some form and at some point in time, so you want to ensure your place in retirement does not add any difficulties to your life in your later years.
There are many benefits to downsizing your home. You can use the money from selling your old place to help you travel or fund your new home. A smaller house also means you don’t have to spend as much time caring for it and can have more time to enjoy your retirement.
Accessibility and Mobility
It would help to consider your future health needs when looking for a retirement home. Think about what type of care you need now or will need in the future.
A home with no stairs, a step-in shower, and wide spaces for wheelchair access could be a deal breaker for you. Maybe you don’t want steps leading up to the front door or to enter a space inside the home. Ensure your appliances aren’t too high or low either. Bending down or reaching up might not seem like a problem now, but it could mean certain areas or objects in the home are inaccessible 5-10 years from now.
The last thing retirees want to stress about is keeping up with all the maintenance and heavy upkeep involved in owning a home or being part of a homeowner’s association. As you age, you might be less inclined to deal with consistent lawn care or snow removal during the cold months. If you don’t want to outsource these duties or have the funds to, you don’t want to buy a house with a huge yard that needs to be mowed every two weeks so that you don’t risk getting a fine. You also don’t want a place that will break down and need fixing every few months either. Choosing a stable home that will require little to no maintenance as time goes on is essential.
Is it a good fit?
If possible, try to do a trial run if you plan to move to an entirely new area. You want a taste of what it is like to live there and whether it would genuinely be a good fit for you. Making sure the food, community, and amenities are to your liking is also important. Even if you’ve been saying for years that you want to move cross country or near a specific type of landscape, you still don’t know whether a particular region has everything you’ll need along with that dream location.
Where do you even begin?
It can seem daunting to start finding your new retirement home. There are many financial aspects to consider once you decide to move forward.
Make a list of your retirement needs, figure out your finances, save as much money as possible, and remember that it is all up to you. No one knows your situation or desired lifestyle better than yourself, so the final decisions on what you want your retirement home to be will always come back to you.