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Things to Look for When Buying a Retirement Home

Certified Financial Planner Financial Advisor Financial Planner Investment Advice Investment Planning Registered Investment Advisor Retirement Advice Retirement Planning June 4, 2019 Author: Deborah Doyle

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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? Consider the distance to a major airport if you enjoy traveling or your family and friends live far away. Finally, even healthy people should consider having access to quality healthcare facilities when buying a home.
  3. Single Level Living: While selecting a retirement home can be fun and exciting, its 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. Stairs whether inside or outside the home, can be a problem for someone who requires a wheelchair, walker and even a cane.
  4. 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 walker or wheelchair. 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 dishwasher or do the laundry? Can you easily reach the microwave? Lower counter-space in at least some stations, may be beneficial for future use.
  5. Walk-in Shower or Step-in Baths: While you may love to sit and enjoy a nice warm bath bubbly now, when you’re 80 years old, that may not be as accessible. 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. Once 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.

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