Thinking About Retiring?

If you live in one of the colder states, you may want to become a sunbird when you retire and move into a retirement community in one of the sunshine states like Florida. However, this may not be the best decision, as moving far away from all your friends and family into a gated age restricted community may be isolating, especially if you or your partner gets sick. It's not always so easy to make friends later in life and you may find that once the initial excitement has worn off, you feel out of place.

On the other hand, these type of communities can offer a wide selection of opportunities. This is why it is very important to choose your retirement community carefully. You need to plan for the long haul. What might be suitable when you are still relatively young might be a different thing altogether once you no longer feel up to driving.


Whatever type of community you are considering, you need to look at the sort of transport that is available. Many retirement villages are designed so that you can walk everywhere, or use a golf style cart to get around. Others offer a free or subsidized bus service to get you to the communal facilities on site. However, in a large complex you may need to use the car to get around, which may not be so easy once you get past a certain age. However, if you are a young retiree, you may not worry about this too much. Nevertheless, you still need to check out what sort of assisted living and health care facilities are available on site for the future. After all, you won't want to have to move again.

Over 55+'s

Many senior villages or retirement communities allow early retirees over 55 to move in. These complexes offer a wide range of activities from golf to other sports like sailing, as well as sedentary options like art classes and other lifelong learning possibilities. These days many seniors are extremely active, and retirement can be like one long holiday. Other people prefer to work part-time or get involved in volunteer activities. So it's important to look at what sort of opportunities and amenities there are in the area. Also if you like cultural activities like the theater, music or art you don't want to have to drive a hundred miles to get to a play, concert, or art gallery no matter how delightful the active adults retirement village.

Management Fees

When you buy property in a retirement complex there are often quite hefty monthly management fees which you also need to take into consideration. This is especially true in Continuing-Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) which allow you to move from independent living, through assisted living and offer nursing home care as well, all in the same complex. Of course, the sale of your current property may provide sufficient funds for the foreseeable future, but it may mean that you have nothing left to leave your heirs, unless you plan carefully.


Another important issue to consider is what sort of health care is available, not only onsite but also how near the local hospital is. If you are used to living in a big city with access to large teaching hospitals, you may find that hospitals in your chosen area don't offer the same level of expertise that you are familiar with.


Consider consulting a retirement financial planning advisor as well as a realtor before you buy your retirement home.