What Every Retiree Needs in a Home. If you’re beginning to think of retirement, you’re probably still in the phase of wondering how much money you will need in order to be able to retire. But, if you are planning on finding a community to retire to, or building a home during your retirement phase, there are other considerations which must be made. What does every retiree need in a home? What sort of plans do they need to make sure they are in a healthy community?
Proximity to Major Amenities
When planning to retire, it’s important to consider what you need to be nearby to you. Nobody wants to have to drive across the city, for example, in order to be able to go to their cardiologist three times a month, and the other way across to see their orthopedist! If you have family whom you want to see often, or friends who offer mutual support, it’s important to consider those spaces as well. It’s often important for seniors as they age to be close to things like grocery stores, physicians, shopping centers, and amenities like physical therapy, pools, and recreation. Choose those which are most important to you, and make sure you have access to them!
Features for Aging in Place
If you’re still preparing for retirement years and in good health, it can be difficult to consider things which might make your life easier as you age. Many older retirees wish that they had prepared ahead to consider use of a wheelchair, either for themselves or for their partner. Knowing that you can reach cabinets and go through doorways is important. Knowing that you have disabled-accessible showers and baths is even more important! If you have accessibility indoors, but are unable to leave because of stairs or other barriers, this also is of no use to you! Thinking ahead can save you a hassle in living, or a move later on.
Family is important to you as you age, both for emotional and physical support. Being able to have a space for family and friends to visit is important, if you can afford it. Many retirees are finding ways to combine an office space and a guest space, whether by using a futon, murphy bed, or other style furniture to maximize the space you have. Having family members able to come visit brings such peace and love into the home, whether for the holidays or other reasons. And, if you need help, medically or otherwise, then you have options for someone to sleep.
A Pool in Your Backyard
When building a new home, or when adding on necessary improvements to your existing home, consider adding a pool. This need not be gigantic in order to be of great benefit to you! A lot of physical therapy needs can be done in a small pool, which is adequate for water aerobics or other exercises. Don’t worry if your backyard is complicated to access! Concrete pump trucks can easily reach over obstacles on your property to start pool construction.
Minimal Yard Work
No matter how much you love to garden now, there will come a time when having a gigantic lawn to mow, trees to trim, and landscape to pamper might not be your first priority. This doesn’t mean that you have to have no plants around you! Make the consideration to think ahead to which gardening you prefer, if any, and then maximize that ability. If staying in a home on acreage, consider making the plans you will need to have it taken care of if you cannot. This helps protect your financial investment, but also protects your body and mind as you age. Those who love gardening, consider volunteering at a community garden to help another generation with your wisdom!
Walking Access to Community
Many retirement communities exist where there are easy amenities, classes, community areas, pools, and exercise options available to community members. Having community homes relatively close together to the community access areas is a feature! Most homes are close enough – within a few carefully planned blocks – to make it possible to walk to community spaces. This not only gives you easy access to amenities, but to the community of other individuals, even in an electric chair or golf cart. This makes it possible for you to have stronger friendships and relationships.
Don’t ever forget that your home’s cost is not the only price of living there. Having access to discount stores is nice, but making it possible to have lower taxes in your location is more crucial! Some states tax your social security income as well. Likewise, the cost of water, electricity, and other bills make a difference to your bottom line. Travelling to family can also be an issue. If you are choosing to move out of state to a retirement community, make sure that you know all of the factors involved in the cost besides the mortgage price, before you make your final decisions.
Realistically, this home is the last one you ever purchase, but whether you’re building or buying, you still need to consider resale value! Whether you leave this home in need of medical care which means you need to sell and relocate to a community which is more specific to your medical needs, or whether you eventually leave the home to your children, you still want to have the best opportunity for fiscal return as possible. Some retirement communities are vacation sites, but they might not have the best opportunities for future buyers, or be the easiest sale. Think ahead to make your someday estate planning (that everyone faces eventually) easier for your family as well.
No matter where you choose to retire, there are a lot of factors to consider! Talk with those whom you trust about this decision. Factor in your finances, and consider what you’ll need later. You’ll then feel more prepared and peaceful!
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