Things to Look for When Buying a Retirement Home


Retirees enjoy the freedom to move wherever they desire without a job or young family tying them down to their current location. Retirees often move during retirement, with a decent portion moving out of state. However, there are many things to consider before you book those movers and sell your house.

Before selecting your dream retirement home, consider some of these things to help save you time and money down the line.

Your Budget: Regardless of age, amenities play an important part in choosing a new home. Make a shortlist of what you need and want. Think about fitness, community activities, proximity, and maintenance. No one knows exactly what will happen in the future, but it’s unlikely that the cost of living will fall. Don’t stretch your budget and think practically about what you want and what you need.

Location, location, location: Make sure you are in a convenient location to the activities that you enjoy doing. Also, consider your climate preferences—do you enjoy all four seasons or would you prefer a place that’s warm all year round? What is the distance to a major airport if you enjoy traveling or if your family and friends live far away? Finally, even healthy people should keep access to quality healthcare facilities in mind when buying a home.

Single Level Living:While selecting a retirement home can be fun and exciting, it’s important to look at the functionality of it for your current and future self. Homes with sunken living rooms, large bathtubs, and stairs, may be appealing now but may not be in the future. Steps, whether inside or outside the home, can be a problem for someone who requires a wheelchair or walking aid.

Home Layout: Many homeowners today enjoy open floor plans for socialization reasons, but it is also a lot easier for seniors to maneuver with a walking aid or motorized chair. Look for wide hallways, open space, and 36-inch doorways. You should also be aware of appliance heights. Will you always be able to bend down to use the oven or do the laundry? Can you easily reach the microwave? Lower counter space, in at least some stations, may be beneficial for future use.

Walk-in Shower or Step-in Baths: While you may love to sit and enjoy a nice warm bubbly bath now, that may not be as accessible when you’re 80. Look to have at least one step-in shower in your retirement home. Another thing to consider is having the space for future grab bars near showers and toilets.

Make sure you give yourself enough time to sort through your home, find the perfect place, and complete the move. Think about what you enjoy now and what you may enjoy or need in 10-15 years. After you’ve settled into your retirement home, you will have the opportunity to relax, explore, make new friends, and spend time doing the things you love without worrying about having to do another move in your advanced retirement years.

Check out our blog for other retirement planning ideas.

The opinions voiced in this material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice to any individual. Consult your legal, tax, and/or financial advisor to determine what is appropriate for your situation.



Away from the Office

September 23rd

Debbie will be out of the office. If you need assistance, please contact Woody.

We are always accepting donations for the local animal shelters – toys, tennis balls, collars, leashes, food, cat litter, cardboard trays, office supplies, cleaning supplies, towels, mats, washcloths, etc. We will accept donations Monday-Friday between 9am & 5pm.


Eighteen years ago, Heidi and I purchased our first home. With our love of architecture and history, we found a rowhouse with many of its original features intact in what was then an up-and-coming part of Baltimore (Canton). Of all the streets in Canton, the house that called to us was on Ellwood Avenue; it was meant to be.

After months of tiring rehab work, we were finally able to settle comfortably into our new home.

We brought Fenway, Roxy, and Elise home to this house. In this home, Elise said her first word (dog, of course), took her first steps, and grew into a wonderful young girl.

Neither Heidi nor I have lived in one town, let alone one house, for 18 years. We hosted countless NYE parties along with many other gatherings with our friends and family. It’s here where my grandmother lived with us for a couple of weeks while we helped her during a difficult time. A time when she got to build a relationship with Elise. It’s where Heidi’s dad, Frank, stayed with us when we moved him from central NY. These are cherished memories that made saying goodbye so hard.

Although we’re heartbroken to leave our old home, the time had come. We’re excited for the next chapter and hope that we’re able to find as much joy in our new home as we did in our last.

The pictures above are our first family photo in the house with Elise and our last.


I hope you enjoyed this month’s newsletter!

Best Wishes,

Woody Derricks, CFP®, ADPA®


CA Insurance License #0C40217

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