Picking a Home For Retirement
There are houses for every stage of life, from your first starter home to the home for your growing family, to the home you’re looking for now. When you’re ready to retire, it is critical that you have a home that makes you happy – you’re going to be spending a lot of time there.
Your new home is your reward for a life well-lived so far. This should not be a home that looks backward, but rather one that looks forward to the things you want to do with your retirement. Below are a few things to think about when you’re ready to buy this house.
Less space means less maintenance, housework, and yard work. You just retired – you don’t want to work more at home! And without children living at home, you really don’t need as much space. You may choose to buy a large house anyway, but you should really think about keeping it small.
Choose a home with a single floor. Even if you’re doing well with your health right now, bones grow more fragile with age, and peculiar things happen to your sense of balance. Minimize the chance of accidents by buying a ranch home on one level., with storage on ground level instead of a basement. If you must have stairs, make certain the banisters are at a good height for you, and are very stable.
Pay attention to outdoor living space as well as indoor living space. You’ll find that you live outside more after retiring than you did before. Think about your deck and your garden. If you’ve always wanted a hot tub, this is the time to get one. Same for swimming pools. As above, though, keep it on one level; that includes step-ups and multilevel decks. They look nice, but it’s just not worth the risk.
Leave room for pets, even if you don’t have one. Even if you hate dogs and cats. When you’re lonely, sometimes a pet can make the difference. But if you don’t have a place for one, you won’t have the choice.
Make sure you have at least one guest room for the children and grandchildren. Your family grows increasingly important when you have time on your hands. Take away at least one excuse they may have for not visiting by having a guest room available for them whenever they decide to come by. If you have two guest rooms, put bunk beds in one. And think about the future; you may not have grandchildren now, but in five years, who knows?
Make room for your hobby or your post-retirement career. Your retirement years are the perfect time to write that novel, start that woodworking business, or even build additions to your home. Make sure you buy a home that provides an appropriate work space for your new dreams and goals. These are the things that make you alive. And by the way, your office should not be your guest room. When you have a room used for multiple purposes, it’s very easy to forget one of those purposes.
Live near hospitals, doctors offices, and friendly neighbors. Again, even if your health is good right now, you don’t want to take any chances. If anything does happen, you want someone who cares about you finding you quickly, and then you want fast transportation to medical help. Your chances for doing well after a stroke or heart attack go down significantly with every minute you’re delayed in getting to a hospital.
Live away from traffic and pedestrian-unfriendly streets. You don’t want to deal with that any more! Give yourself the space you need to relax and enjoy your new, second life. If you get away from the stress, you’ll enjoy your retirement much more.