When you start planning for retirement and moving to a retirement community, think ahead. Ask yourself what you want and what way of life will make you happy in retirement. Start planning early while you are still in good health and have the energy to make a move. There are many types of retirement communities available so make a list of the amenities each has to offer and compare.

What should you be looking for in a retirement community?

  • Location and climate. Where do you want to retire? Is there a specific area or city that appeals to you? What type of climate do you prefer? Do you like hot and dry weather, temperate or maybe cooler with snowy winters?
  • Medical and health facilities. What type of medical care do you need now and possibly in the future? If you already have a chronic illness or need specialists, a location with access to these health providers would be the best.
  • Cost. Though we all know we should make a budget, looking into our future to budget for retirement may be more difficult that we thought. Will your savings cover the cost of the community you’d like to live in? If not, you may have to look around for one that you can more easily afford unless you are planning on working and saving past your retirement age.
  • Rules and restrictions. All communities differ so take a close look at the small print. Some may not allow pets and if you aren’t willing to find Fido or Fluffy a new home, these wouldn’t be for you. Others have rules on outdoor campfires and barbecues. Some may be strict on how you decorate your outdoor space or which plants you are allowed to grow. Choose carefully and know beforehand what you can or can’t live without.

Weigh the pros and cons of the communities you are looking at. Decide if you could live there or if there are certain things you can’t live without. Start looking early and don’t be afraid to look at communities that you think might be too different or too modern. You never know. New communities can mean new friends and experiences. To read the full article on choosing a retirement community, click here.