Retirement Homes and Communities
Retirement can be an exhilarating time. You are no longer restricted to living in a specific area so that you can commute to a job. You are free to reside anywhere you would like as long as it is within your price range.
It’s a remarkable feeling. However, it can also be a bit overwhelming since many variables will affect your decision about what could be the last home you buy. Here are a few suggestions to consider when making a decision about your retirement home.Read More...
Retirement Homes and Active Retirement Communities
If you are tired of the responsibility for the maintenance of a single family home (repairs, painting, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, etc.) you may want to give some thought to moving to a condo or townhome. Of course, freedom from these responsibilities comes at a price - periodic homeowner association fees can be quite expensive.
Another alternative to consider is purchasing a home in an "active retirement community". If you find that option appealing, consider the following:
- Activities - If you enjoy an active lifestyle, take a look at whether the community offers recreational opportunities such as swimming pools, golf courses, or tennis courts. In addition, find out if the community sponsors any group outings, regular physical fitness sessions, or similar planned activities that are in line with your interests.
- Personal Safety - Investigate what the local crime rate is in the area you are considering before making a commitment to move there. Also, find out the types of security measures that are in place. Consider things like living in a limited access gated community or whether security guards patrol the grounds after dark.
- Finances - Find out if the community fees or dues that you pay will remain the same or if they might change while you are living there. Many retirement communities have fees that remain constant once you move in so that you can budget accordingly. However, be sure to investigate just to be sure that rising fees won't be eating into your finances.
- Convenience - Retirement communities usually try to make life as convenient as possible for residents. In many communities all of your housing related expenses such as taxes, insurance and utilities charges are included in a single monthly fee so that it is easier to plan ahead for your living expenses.
Location, Location, Location
Where your retirement home is located is just as important as it was in any previous moves. Consider these factors:
- Children - Do you have children and grandchildren? If so, moving, or staying, close to where they live may be extremely important. In some cases, living an hour or so distant from them could be a good choice. That way, both you and your kids have space, yet you are within an hour or so of traveling time from each other. This way visiting each other isn't particularly difficult for either of you.
- Local Cost of Living - If you are living on a fixed income, it would be a wise course of action to find out more about local prices for food, fuel, and other necessities. If the cost of living in the area you are considering would not fit well into your budget, it's certainly better to find out before you make a move than after.
- Taxes - State taxes can have a major impact on your living expenses. Florida, Nevada, Alaska, Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Washington State do not impose personal income taxes. In addition, Delaware, New Hampshire, Oregon, Montana and Alaska do not have a sales tax.
- Geography and Climate - After spending many years where winters are harsh, you may want to move somewhere where it is warm throughout the year. Or, after living in a location where conditions are pleasant but never change, you may look forward to experiencing the variety offered by four different seasons. In addition, do you want to live near a beach? Perhaps mountains or lakeside living is more your style. Retirement can offer you the opportunity to live in the geographic environment that you prefer.
- Urban Area or Small Town - If you live in a major urban center, you may prefer a lifestyle where everything is open at all hours rather than living in a small town where they roll up the sidewalks at 6:00 pm. Life in a small town can be quiet and peaceful; however it will require quite an adjustment for people who are used to big city life.