Three Things to Look for in Your Retirement Home

The end of your working life comes up quicker than you think. One moment it feels like you’re just starting your career, and then it feels like you’re looking at retirement in the next moment. An aging body isn’t going to be able to cope with a lot of things it once did. That includes stairs, a lot of square footage to clean, and exterior maintenance. Start asking yourself what you want in a home for the retirement years, especially if your current home winds up being too much to handle. The time to make this decision comes sooner than later. Here are three things to look at when considering a retirement home.

Living in a Smaller Home

Image via Flickr by mrkumm

A large home makes sense when kids are growing up and multiple bedrooms are needed to give them their own spaces. Everyone shares the same footprint, and when everyone has his or her own spot in the home to hang out in, it works. But when the kids grow up and move out to start their own lives, the house starts feeling a bit too big. There’s more empty space than not, even with creating offices and entertainment rooms. If the house has stairs, that’s another problem for the future, as aging joints may not like the constant going up and down of stairs.

Location, Location, Location

People can’t know how long they’ll live, and in that same vein, they also don’t know how long they’ll be able to drive. It’s important to pick a place to live that is close to friends, family, and amenities. Do you plan to stay active with your fitness routine all your life? Make sure to pick a home that has easy access to municipal or private fitness facilities or walking trails. Consider a home with a pool to help you maintain your condition without the strain of walking or lifting weights. Swimming is excellent for cardiovascular health and strength while putting relatively minor strain on the body.

Staying Close to Family

Many retirees are staying close to home instead of moving to warmer climates. They’re opting to be close to their children and grandchildren and ignoring the urge to go out of state. It makes sense: staying close to home means being in familiar surroundings, having the ability to enjoy family without making them spend money on costly travel options, and having access to medical assistance from people they know.

It may be worthwhile to find a smaller home within easy driving distance of your family and use some of the money from the sale of your previous house to buy a second dwelling in a warmer climate. There’s nothing wrong with spending time in the sun instead of shoveling snow during the colder months of the year.

People have their own criteria for what they want in their homes. Start planning for how you want to live in retirement long before that day arrives. You’ll make a better decision and wind up with a home that fits your needs for the rest of your life.

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